Loggers and environmentalists strike deal in Indonesia

Maybe we can all just get along. A landmark deal between a logging company and an environmental group could double the size of a designated national park in the Tesso Nilo rainforest on the Indonesian island of Sumatra, the site of years of conflict between conservationists and timber interests. The soon-to-be-cemented deal is between the World Wildlife Fund and Asia Pacific Resources International Holdings Ltd. (APRIL), which would agree to log on the island with an eye to preserving ecologically sensitive forest areas, as well as encourage other logging companies to log sustainably and give up some of their rights to log in Tesso Nilo. APRIL had been shunned by some Western companies for its environmental record and hopes that the deal with WWF will help broaden its market. The pact would add APRIL to a growing list of companies negotiating deals with green groups in order to bolster their reputations.