Peatlands in Himalayan Region
The recently released UN report on the peatland systems, called for urgent steps to conserve such regions. It highlighted the importance of mapping and monitoring.
Peatlands Distribution in India
Peatlands in India have been recorded in Arunachal Pradesh, northern parts of Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh and Kerala. Parts of the Western Ghats range are also reported to have peatlands. Other regions with potential distribution of peatlands are mangroves and delta regions. However, due to lack of monitoring and mapping efforts, the distribution is not well documented.
The total area of peatland in the Himalayan Hindukush region, excluding China, was found to be 17,106 square kilometres in 2008. About 8,236 square kilometres of this area is now degraded. Of this, the Ruoergai Plateau houses the most important and largest high altitude peatland system.
The Ruoergai Plateau is located in the eastern part of the Tibetan Plateau. It is the most important area of high mountain peatland system, not only in the Himalayan Hindukush region, but world-wide. It is also known as Zoige Marsh or the Songpan Grasslands. It is a Ramsar Wetland site.