At the southernmost tip of South America, in a region known as Tierra del Fuego (Land of Fire), the Andes mountain range and pristine blue lakes create one of the most sought-after destinations for adventure-seeking tourists. But it’s the unassuming, waterlogged fields at the base of these majestic mountains that are now garnering attention as an environmental powerhouse.
Peaceful, empty, and silent, Tierra del Fuego’s peatland ecosystems are actually very busy: They provide habitat for wildlife and hold huge water reservoirs, as well as large stores of carbon.
Peatlands, like those found in South America’s remote mountain wilderness, have the potential to fight climate change—or accelerate it if they’re disturbed. Compared to all other ecosystems combined, peatlands comprise the largest stores of