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Conservation and Society
An interdisciplinary journal exploring linkages between society, environment and development
Conservation and Society
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Year : 2011  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 299-310

Logging or conservation concession: Exploring conservation and development outcomes in Dzanga-Sangha, Central African Republic

1 Autonomous University of Madrid, Madrid, Spain; Center for International Forestry Research, Bogor, Indonesia
2 Center for International Forestry Research, Bogor, Indonesia; World Wide Fund for Nature, Bayanga, Central African Republic
3 Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit, Bayanga, Central African Republic
4 World Wide Fund for Nature, Bayanga, Central African Republic; World Wide Fund for Nature, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo
5 Autonomous University of Madrid, Madrid, Spain
6 James Cook University, Cairns, Australia; International Union for Conservation of Nature, Gland, Switzerland
7 Wildlife Conservation Society, Bayanga, Central African Republic
8 Center for International Forestry Research, Bogor, Indonesia; Challenge Program for Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark

Correspondence Address:
Marieke Sandker
Autonomous University of Madrid, Madrid, Spain; Center for International Forestry Research, Bogor, Indonesia

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0972-4923.92141

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The Dzanga-Sangha landscape consists of a national park surrounded by production forest. It is subject to an integrated conservation and development project (ICDP). In collaboration with the ICDP personnel, a participatory model was constructed to explore wildlife conservation and industrial logging scenarios for the landscape. Three management options for the landscape's production forest were modelled: (I) 'predatory logging', exploitation by a logging company characterised by a lack of long-term plans for staying in the landscape, (II) sustainable exploitation by a certified logging company, and (III) conservation concession with no commercial timber harvesting. The simulation outcomes indicate the extreme difficulties to achieve progress on either conservation or development scenarios. Both logging scenarios give best outcomes for development of the local population. However, the depletion of bushmeat under the predatory logging scenario negatively impacts the population, especially the BaAka pygmy minority who most strongly depend on hunting for their income. The model suggests that conservation and development outcomes are largely determined by the level of economic activity, both inside and outside the landscape. Large investments in the formal sector in the landscape without any measures for protecting wildlife (Scenario I) leads to some species going nearly extinct, while investments in the formal sector including conservation measures (Scenario II) gives best outcomes for maintaining wildlife populations. The conservation concession at simulated investment levels does not reduce poverty, defined here in terms of monetary income. Neither does it seem capable of maintaining wildlife populations since the landscape is already filled with settlers lacking economic opportunities as alternatives to poaching.

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