There is no single strategy to effectively curb the loss of biodiversity while facilitating sustainable livelihoods in rural areas. But as tropical countries work to develop their economies, national and international industry will have a larger impact on natural lands and resources than ever before. Engagement with the private sector through the development of partnerships for conservation is one of the most important tools. Private-sector partnerships for conservation (PSPCs) are alliances between businesses and conservation organizations, public agencies or local communities to promote mutually beneficial and ecologically and socially responsible activities.
One such partnership unites a logging company, international conservation organization, and government for the management of hunting and wildlife in the Republic of Congo. The Buffer Zone Project (BZP) has worked since 1999 to protect the Nouabal-Ndoki National Park (NNNP) from hunting pressure, to manage wildlife in four logging concessions adjacent to the protected area, and to mitigate the negative effects of logging on biodiversity and the livelihoods of local residents. Guided by five key wildlife management principles, the BZP implemented a multi-pronged approach that combined law enforcement, development of alternative activities, education and awareness-raising, and research and monitoring. This paper draws from the experiences of the BZP to summarize the risks and benefits of building a PSPC, the components of a successful partnership, and several management strategies for conservation.