The peatlands of Lesotho – an important ecological and socio-econmic resource

Carl C. Trettin, Loren Labovitch, Sekhonyana Lerotholi and Evan Mercer

After Wise Use – The Future of Peatlands, Proceedings of the 13th International Peat Congress: Pristine Mire Landscapes

Tullamore, Ireland

fen, lesotho, mountain-peatlands, wetland

Trettin 2008: The peatlands of Lesotho


The peatlands in the highlands of Lesotho are ecologically and economically significant. The peatlands are
soligenous fens, formed in valley bottoms and side slopes, typically at elevations above 2,400 m. The peat depth is commonly 1-2.5 m. The peatlands are an integral part of the mountain landscape, and provide subsistence and other livelihood benefits to the rural communities. Overgrazing has caused severe gulley erosion in the peatlands, which threatens the integrity of the wetland systems. Effective conservation and management are needed to sustain the capacity of these wetlands to provide ecological functions and societal values.