Concerned about threats to Africa’s remaining rainforest, the New York City-based Wildlife Conservation Society has been forming closer ties with logging companies. The group believes that in some cases, working hand-in-hand with loggers is the best way to protect what’s left. Last year, the group helped negotiate a deal that traded away 260 square miles of the 2,000-square-mile Lope Reserve in Gabon to a timber company; in exchange, logging was prohibited throughout the remainder of the reserve and 160 square miles of forest were added to it. In July, the group brokered an arrangement whereby a logging company agreed to protect 100 square miles of forest in the Republic of Congo, forgoing timber harvests valued at $40 million. Some other environmental groups, however, criticize the conservation society’s tactics, saying they result in only minor victories and draw too much positive attention to logging companies.

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