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]