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natural resources. Their legacy, the Lindbergh Foundation, is devoted to supporting programs which implement this ideal and is a living memorial in our world to their remarkable gifts.

"Power over life must be balanced
by reverance for life."
Anne Morrow Lindbergh

The ABCP also wishes to extend its deepest condolences to Mary Sambeke, whose husband, Mzee Joseph Sambeke Mallya, died in May. Mr. and Mrs. Sambeke operated a florist shop in Moshi and were well known and respected citizens. They have been true friends of the ABCP. Mary allowed us to establish our mpingo nursery in her yard for several years and has helped the project in numerous other ways. 1200 people attended Mr. Sambeke's funeral.

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Sebastian shot this remarkable photo of a dust devil behind a lone mpingo left after a wildfire in Simanjiro, Arusha, Tanzania in Aug. 1997. To secure a brighter future for this species than that shown here is the inspiration of our project.

FFI Mpingo Conference

In November of last year Flora and Fauna International (FFI) received funding from the Government of Germany to be spent on a trade study investigating FSC style certification of mpingo. Coming in October they will sponsor a meeting in Dar es Salaam, bringing together forestry, governmental and business representatives to develop guidelines for sustainable management for the species, including discussion of certification to better regulate its use. Sebastian will attend this important meeting and deliver an address about the work of the ABCP.

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Members of the Mpingo Women’s Group at Kikafu chini pose in front of a maize field which they have planted. The ABCP has supported this group with a small stipend which they have used to plant maize and other garden crops, to start a bee-keeping operation and to plant mpingo.

Bush-link Radio E-mail

Three years ago we assisted Sebastian with setting up email service and he now considers it essential for his work. Communication, however, has been sporadic because, lacking telephone service, he has had to travel to Moshi or Arusha to access his email. Just recently these problems were solved with the installation of a radio system with antenna at his home on Mt. Kilimanjaro. This is facilitating communications tremendously and will enable us to implement our program much more efficiently. We are grateful for help from the Rafiki Foundation, which helped to finance the cost of this installation.

Community Involvement

Through the various conferences and meetings that Sebastian has been attending during the past year, he has been able to inform many people about the difficulties standing in the way of securing a sustainable future for mpingo and is establishing contact with groups which are willing to help in our replanting efforts.

In June Sebastian attended a meeting of foresters and representatives of the timber industry from northern Tanzania. He was asked to address the group on the international importance of African blackwood as a commercial species and the threats to its sustainable future. He also outlined the work of the ABCP in working for conservation of the species. His talk raised a lot of interest in our replanting program and several leaders of local industries approached him afterwards to arrange a follow-up meeting to discuss how they can be involved in replanting efforts and supporting the ABCP. Another group from Moshi, the Green Garden Women’s Group, also asked his advice about mpingo propagation and visited Sebastian at his home, where he gave them mpingo seeds and planting instructions.

He is supplying mpingo seeds to a biologist whom he met at the Mweka Conference from the Mbarara University of Science and Technology in Uganda. He is advising a woman from Singida, a district south of Mt. Kilimanjaro, who visited him last year, toured the Moshi Mpingo Plot and is attempting to start an mpingo plantation.

Our Mpingo Clubs are planting hundreds of trees and helping to spread the word about conservation of the species. Sebastian has been showing the “Tree of Music” video at his public presentations and raising awareness in this way.

The Mpingo Women’s Group also helps with the replanting effort. Members of this group meet weekly and are conducting agricultural initiatives in Kikafu chini, south of Moshi.

History of ABCP

The ABCP is a US non-profit 501(c)(3) organization which was founded in 1996 by James Harris and Sebastian Chuwa for the purpose of instituting replanting and educational programs related to the conservation of African blackwood (Dalbergia melanoxylon).

This wood is used by African carvers and by the woodwind industry in the manufacture of clarinets, piccolos, flutes, oboes and bagpipes.

There is growing international concern that the wood is being harvested at an unsustainable rate and that it may in the future become a threatened species.

James Harris and Bette Stockbauer devote their time to fundraising efforts in the US and Sebastian Chuwa administers the program in Tanzania. James and Bette personally cover all administrative costs in the US, including printing and postage. All donations collected go directly to the work in Africa.




ABCP Website maintained by James E. Harris, 2000.
Last revised 21 Apr 2008.