The art of the deal: selling loggers on tree-saving practices that make money

16 October 2014

SUNGAI NGIHIS, Indonesia -- In 2009, Bambang Wahyudi, a new recruit of the Nature Conservancy, solved a puzzle that made many conservationists scratch their heads: how to get timber producers to willingly switch to greener logging techniques.

Sitting with a visiting reporter on a recent day, Wahyudi explained his strategy. "I came to a logging company owner and made a presentation," Wahyudi said. "But I talked about business."

Wahyudi told the company owner how switching to greener logging techniques could cut his costs. Having well-planned routes, for instance, will help operators quickly collect logs from the forest rather than drive around to look for felled trees. "The owner said, 'That's a good idea. OK!'" Wahyudi recalled, with a huge smile on his face.

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