I have researched how natural ecosystems are impacted by climate change and human land use for 20 years. My investigations have focused on greenhouse gas emission and the natural cycling of elements in ecosystems from the high Arctic to the Tropics. As a result I have had the opportunity to work in many beautiful areas that are rapidly changing as a result of human activities. One of the most challenging places I have worked are the peat swamps of the tropics. They are a world of their own. The experience is one of quiet dense forest, water, heat, mud and exhaustion. These forests are not only special, swamps are also important for the Earth, as they store carbon and reduce atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations. We need to protect them.