QUITO, Ecuador, Aug. 5 (UPI) -- A trust fund for Ecuador will hold $3.5 billion as part of an effort to protect its Yasuni National Park from the drilling of oil reserves, a U.N. agency said.
The U.N. Development Program announced it reached an agreement with Ecuador to set up the trust fund to protect the national park.
"We are witnessing the inauguration of new instruments of cooperation, which will act as a basis for supporting other national and international efforts directed toward the search for economies that are in harmony with society, nature and the planet," said Rebeca Grynspan, UNDP associate administrator, in a statement.
The Yasuni National Park was listed as World Biosphere Reserve in 1989. The estimated 846 million barrels of oil that are believed to be lying beneath the park will be left in place under the U.N. deal, UNDP announced.
Apart from preserving the national park, UNDP said the preservation will keep more than 400 million tons of harmful emissions from reaching the atmosphere.