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Sebastian lives on Mt. Kilimanjaro, which, at 19,340 feet, is the highest mountain in Africa. Its rivers supply water to 5% of Tanzania’s population and feed the Pangani River Basin, where dams supply the surrounding area with 95 MW of hydroelectric power. An estimated 20,000 tourists visit Mount Kilimanjaro National Park every year.

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“In wildness is the
preservation of the world.”

Henry David Thoreau

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Next to the Mwaya Village Market in Morogoro
Region, Sebastian poses in front of ancient
mpingo tree whose age he estimates to be
over 100 years old.

Its lower slopes are a rich agricultural area, producing one of Tanzania’s richest exports, its famous Arabica coffee, as well as commercial timber, vegetables and 43 varieties of bananas

On May 6-10 High Summit Conferences were simultaneously held in Europe, Latin America, Africa and Asia (North America was not represented). Representatives from mountain regions world-wide gathered to discuss the future of sustainable mountain development, concentrating on such themes as water, eco-tourism, politics, conflict, poverty and international cooperation. These conferences were hooked up by satellite and proceedings were broadcast via the Internet.

Sebastian was invited to present his ideas on sustainable development and poverty alleviation on Mt. Kilimanjaro during the High Summit Africa Conference sponsored by the United Nations Environmental Programme

(UNEP) held in Nairobi, Kenya. Delegates at these conferences worked at drawing up resolutions for a Mountain Platform to form a structure for future action in relation to the issues of those who live in mountain regions. A culminating conference for the IYM celebrations will be held in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan in October 2002.

nl02-10.jpg (23160 bytes)Elizabeth (Betty) Chuwa, wife of Sebastian, holds an mpingo seedling. She is a primary school teacher in Kibosho East and involved in the work of the ABCP, often standing in for Sebastian if necessary when he is away on safari.

 

Roots and Shoots

In last year’s newsletter, we reported on a conference at Mweka College of Wildlife Management addressing the theme “Wildlife Management in the New Millennium.” Sebastian spoke at this seminar about mpingo conservation and was able to have a private meeting with Jane Goodall, the keynote speaker.

Since then Sebastian has been working with Ms. Goodall’s organization “Roots and Shoots” in helping to set up youth conservation groups in the Arusha and Moshi areas. Roots and Shoots groups are similar to Malihai Clubs in that they teach young people about environmental conservation and involve them in direct action projects to help protect wildlife. Sebastian recently attended a meeting of “Roots and Shoots” leaders in Dar es Salaam.

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James Harris and Bette Stockbauer, US Coordinators of the ABCP, with Sebastian Chuwa during his 2002 visit to the US.

 

 

 

History of the 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, ornamental turners and 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 it is generally considered to be threatened.

Sebastian Chuwa manages an mpingo nursery in Moshi, Tanzania, where seedlings are being distributed to area landowners as well as replanted in the wild. He also spreads the word about the plight of mpingo by organizing community programs to promote the species and mpingo youth clubs whose members learn about the tree and establish nursery and replanting efforts on its behalf.

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.

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