In anticipation of the upcoming webinar “About Peatlands” on November 4th, here is a fable to whet the appetite:
Beating the Bog Blues
The bog was particularly dry one morning as Heron searched for fish to fill his belly. A small silver flash passed him, but was gone within a second – perhaps it had been an illusion. Despite his disappointment, Heron knew that fish would be found if he continued to look. Lost in his thoughts, Heron nearly missed the approaching footsteps of his friend, Hare.
“Good morning dear friend!” said Heron.
“I wouldn’t necessarily call it a good morning” replied Hare.
“What’s wrong Hare?”
“Well, as you probably know, about 15% of the world’s peatlands have been drained for agriculture and urbanization, resulting in the release of huge amounts of greenhouses gases into the atmosphere from the carbon stored within peat soils.”
“Ah, yes” replied Heron, who was well-versed in the crucial role peatlands played in drought and flood prevention, not to mention carbon sequestration and biodiversity protection.
“Besides,” continued Hare, “everyone is leaving the bog, and I’m starting to feel lonely in this wasteland.”
It had never occurred to Heron that their home might be considered a wasteland.
“Now, hold on one second Hare, I think you are missing the bigger picture.” said Heron, who with his flight capacities, had an aerial view of the peatland and the surrounding area.
“What bigger picture?” mumbled Hare, dragging his feet in the once-wet soil.
“While I agree that peatlands need to stop being drained, and restored to their previous waterlogged conditions in order to prevent the further release of precious carbon…”
“Where are you going with this, Heron?” asked Hare.
“I’m getting there, Hare. The point is that we should not simply leave this magical ecosystem behind for wetter pastures. Look around you! The bog is rich with history, diversity, and unlocked climate change mitigation potential!” exclaimed Heron.
Hare looked around, and given his inability to fly like Heron, was only able to spot a nearby duck.
“How will I cure my loneliness if I stay here?” he asked.
“You will always have me, Hare. Besides, if we stay it is more likely that the others will, too.” said Heron as he wrapped one enormous wing around Hare in a motion that resembled a hug.
Hare was not fully convinced, but he was beginning to open his eyes to the immense potential of the bog.
“Now Hare, will you join me in finding a fish for breakfast? I think I know the right place to look.”
Resource about the status of peatlands