by Katriane Hill in New Eco on Thursday 9 July 2009

The US Government has recently authorized a bill that allows eligible countries to trade debt for forest conservation pledges. Indonesia is one of the first to take advantage of the program, having the total of their US$30 million forgiven in exchange for conservation. This is the largest agreement for conservation ever reached. The agreement mandates that Indonesia put forward US$30 million over the next eight years into a trust fund for forest conservation and restoration work. The work could not come at a better time, as the SumatranĀ rainforestĀ have been depleted by about ninety per cent, due to logging and clearing for agriculture.