Congo River photo by LM TP via flickr.
Scientists warned the world last week that due to human interference in wetlands, a potential 'carbon bomb' is waiting to go off. As wetlands are increasingly drained due to urban sprawl or expansion of agricultural lands the 771 billion tons of carbon dioxide sequestered begins to be released. Now, thanks to action by the Democratic Republic of Congo, at least some of that sequestered carbon will remain out of the atmosphere.
Wetland Twice the Size of Belgium Protected
Announced yesterday, the Ngiri-Tumba-Maindombe region of the DR Congo has become the world's largest area of protected wetland. The 65,696 square kilometer region is located around Lake Tumba, the largest body of freshwater in Africa.
Speaking about the importance of the region, a local WWF representative said, "The Ngiri-Tumba-Maindombe area contributes to the regulation of flooding are regional climate and ensures the quality of the water remains good enough for the millions of people who depend on it."
The protected region has one of the highest concentrations of biodiversity in the world, acts as buffer zone for flooding of the Congo River, as well being utilized for agricultural purposes.
The previous world record holder in the World's Largest Protected Wetland category was Canada's Queen Maud Gulf at 62,782 square kilometers.