Nile basin peatlands seriously threatened!
Result of 3 weeks fieldwork + fact finding in 5 African countries
16/04/19 Three weeks of fieldwork in five countries within the Nile basin project of Greifswald Mire Centre and Wetlands International revealed worrying facts on conditions of peatlands there. Agriculture, farming, peat extraction and infrastructure projects seriously threaten peatlands in this transboundary region stretching over ten countries in total. For example, the scientists stated accelerated depletion of peatlands by burning and farming in Southeastern Uganda during the last 10 years. In Southeastern Rwanda peatlands are on the edge of disappearance: A new peat fueled electricity plant is being built in Gisagara and planned to start working in 2020. It is expected to threaten 8,000 ha of peatlands. There are also large peat extraction sites in Gishoma. The Nile basin project, conducted by the Greifswald Mire Centre, Wetlands International and further partners, assesses the potential of avoiding carbon emissions in the Nile basin wetlands. Based on mapping distribution and status of peatlands in the region recommendations for technical and political discussions will be developed.