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23 July 2008

Experts Gather to Prevent Destruction of Wetlands and Consequent GHG Releases

21 July 2008: Over 700 experts from 28 nations are gathering at the eighth INTECOL International Wetlands Conference, which is taking place from 20-25 July 2008, in Cuiaba, Brazil, to agree on measures to better manage and slow the decline of wetlands that are among the planet’s most threatened ecosystems.

The event is hosted by the Cuiaba-based Pantanal Regional Environmental Programme, a joint effort of the UN University and Brazil’s Federal University of Mato Grasso. The Conference opened amidst increased concern that warming world temperatures are speeding the rates of decomposition of trapped organic material and evaporation, while threatening critical sources of wetlands recharge by melting glaciers and reducing precipitation. According to an article published in the Science magazine, although wetlands cover 6% of Earth’s land surface, they store 10-20% of its terrestrial carbon. Scientist warn that the further destruction of wetlands through human and climate change-related causes is likely to lead to the release of carbon from these sinks, thereby worsening the global warming problem. [ScienceDaily, 21 July 2008] [Conference website]

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