21 May '11, 1am

Indonesia's moratorium disappoints environmentalists

Indonesia's moratorium disappoints environmentalists

Clearing of peatland in Central Kalimantan Is Indonesia losing its most valuable assets? (05/16/2011) Deep in the rainforests of Malaysian Borneo in the late 1980s, researchers made an incredible discovery: the bark of a species of peat swamp tree yielded an extract with potent anti-HIV activity. An anti-HIV drug made from the compound is now nearing clinical trials. It could be worth hundreds of millions of dollars a year and help improve the lives of millions of people. This story is significant for Indonesia because its forests house a similar species. In fact, Indonesia's forests probably contain many other potentially valuable species, although our understanding of these is poor. Given Indonesia's biological richness — Indonesia has the highest number of plant and animal species of any country on the planet — shouldn't policymakers and businesses be giving priority to...

Full article: http://news.mongabay.com/2011/0520-indonesia_moratorium_d...

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