For Peatlands Sake

Jessica Wiseman
Monday 9 January 2023

In 2023 the Wardlaw Museum, in partnership with Dr Katy Roucoux from the School of Geography and Sustainable Development, curated an exhibition showcasing the important role peatlands play in climate change mitigation. 

The biggest store of the world’s carbon is not above ground in trees – it is below the ground in peatlands. Peatlands hold almost 30% of terrestrial carbon – twice as much as the world’s forests – and their care is critical for climate change mitigation.  

Dr Roucoux’s work focuses on the important role peatlands play in shaping the culture of communities that live near them. She is leading a Leverhulme Trust-funded research project entitled Valuing Intact Tropical Peatlands: An Interdisciplinary Challenge which is investigating how mestizo and indigenous communities, in the Pastaza-Maranon Foreland Basin in Peruvian Amazonia, use and value their peatlands. 

The perception of peatlands as wastelands has led to the mismanagement of areas which, instead, are key in supporting people and the environment. The exhibition at the Museum offered an opportunity for visitors to learn about the research into peatland communities in Scotland and Peru, and how they could play a part in their conservation.

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