This is a collaborative project that will improve tropical peatland mapping in Central America, and quantify above and belowground carbon storage across the region.
  • DatesApril 2021-March 2022
  • SponsorRoyal Geographical Society
  • PartnersSmithsonian Tropical Research Institute; University of Nottingham

Tropical peatlands are a globally important carbon store, accounting for 11% of global peatland area, but storing 19% of peat carbon. While recent work has improved estimates for South American and Central African peatlands, data for Central America is limited. Current estimates are that Panamanian peatlands cover 7,900km2, storing 2.4 GtC, representing 80% of the Central American peatland carbon pool.

However, these estimates largely rely on studies conducted prior to the development of modern remote sensing techniques. In this project, we will deliver accurate estimates for Central American peatland extent, carbon storage, and vulnerability to disturbance, and work with policy-makers to improve understanding and protection of these sites.