Deforestation and draining of the peatlands in equatorial SE Asia has greatly increased their flammability, and in September–October 2015 a strong El Niño-related drought led to further drying and to widespread burning across parts of Indonesia, primarily on Kalimantan and Sumatra. These fires resulted in some of the worst sustained outdoor air pollution ever recorded, with atmospheric particulate matter (PM) concentrations exceeding those considered “extremely hazardous to health” by up to an order of magnitude.

The palm oil industry is still a leading cause of deforestation in Indonesia. Three years after the world’s biggest palm oil traders adopted ‘no deforestation’ policies, Greenpeace International examined 11 traders to see how much progress they had made.

This week, Rwanda's minister for infrastructure, James Musoni, witnessed the ground-breaking ceremony for the construction of a peat power plant in Mamba sector, Gisagara District.

Low energy supply, complete with shortages, high costs and poor access, remains major impediments to Africa’s social and economic progress. The African Union’s Agenda 2063 commits to fast-tracking modern, efficient, reliable and cost effective renewable energy for all households, businesses, industries and institutions.

Peatlands are carbon-rich ecosystems that cover just three per cent of Earth’s land surface, but store one-third of soil carbon. Peat soils are formed by the build-up of partially decomposed organic matter under waterlogged anoxic conditions. Most peat is found in cool climatic regions where unimpeded decomposition is slower, but deposits are also found under some tropical swamp forests. Here we present field measurements from one of the world’s most extensive regions of swamp forest, the Cuvette Centrale depression in the central Congo Basin.

Anthropogenic activity is affecting the global climate through the release of greenhouse gases (GHGs) e.g. CO2 and CH4. About a third of anthropogenic GHGs are produced from agriculture, including livestock farming and horticulture. A large proportion of the UK's horticultural farming takes place on drained lowland peatlands, which are a source of significant amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere.

Living with fire is a challenge for human communities because they are influenced by socio-economic, political, ecological and climatic processes at various spatial and temporal scales. Over the course of 2 days, the authors discussed how communities could live with fire challenges at local, national and transnational scales. Exploiting our diverse, international and interdisciplinary expertise, we outline generalizable properties of fire-adaptive communities in varied settings where cultural knowledge of fire is rich and diverse.

About 60% of the European wetlands are located in the European part of Russia. Nevertheless, data on methane emissions from wetlands of that area are absent. Here we present results of methane emission measurements for two climatically different years from a boreal peatland complex in European Russia. Winter fluxes were well within the range of what has been reported for the peatlands of other boreal regions before, but summer fluxes greatly exceeded the average range of 5–80 mg CH4 m−2 d−1 for the circumpolar boreal zone.

Northern peatlands have been accumulating organic matter since the start of the Holocene, and are now a substantial store of terrestrial carbon. However, their current status as carbon sinks is less clear, because of the possible effects of climate change, air pollution, grazing and drainage etc., and the difficulties of accurate measurement with suitable time resolution. Such measurements are particularly lacking in the UK.

It is believed that oil palm plantations and industrial forest companies have played roles in the spreading of fires currently burning hundreds of hectares of peatland in West and East Tanjungjabun