Seeing the Forest for the Trees

Source: Roads & Kingdoms

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MUANDA, Democratic Republic of Congo—

Two elephant tusks are wedged behind a photocopier. A stuffed antelope stands by the door, and a large framed photograph of President Joseph Kabila hangs on the back wall. Cosma Wilungula sits behind his desk in Kinshasa, the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s capital, patiently explaining his quandary.

For 12 years he’s run the Congolese Institute for the Conservation of Nature, or ICCN, the government agency responsible for the country’s protected areas. He knows only too well the limits of his influence. The truth is that the ICCN’s nearly 70 national parks, nature reserves and ...

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