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Village of Terrat in Simanjiro

With the Rolex funding and his new Land Cruiser, Sebastian has already begun to visit several areas which are excellent for growing mpingo such as Same District southeast of Kilimanjaro, and Babati District to the southwest.

He is finding communities in these areas which will take an interest in establishing tree nurseries with mpingo, as well as various species for domestic and commercial use.


“In wildness is the
preservation of the world.”

Henry David Thoreau

Besides helping these communities set up nurseries, he will also help their schools establish the Malihai youth club program along with conservation studies in their curriculum.

nl03-06.jpg (41584 bytes)In the village of Terrat in Simanjiro District, he has a commitment from the community to open several branches of Malihai clubs at the school and help begin mpingo planting this year.

Last year Sebastian hired a retired forester, Mr. Honest Njau, to visit the various nurseries he oversees and offer ideas and recommendations to optimize the work. Mr. Njau has a certificate in Forestry Management from Olmotonyi Forestry Institute in Arusha and worked as an assistant forester for the Tanzanian government before he retired

Brenda Schuman-Post

Brenda Schuman-Post is a professional oboist living in San Francisco, California, who is an educator and advocate for the conservation of African blackwood. She is concerned about mpingo conservation, not only to maintain adequate supply for the music industry, but also to ensure that the many Africans whose lives are affected by the tree can continue to benefit from it.

Because of her interest in educating both musicians and general audiences about mpingo, Brenda has created a lecture/performance program called "Mpingo's Fruit" in which she discusses the history of mpingo and the environmental, economic, social, and cultural status of the tree today. With photographs and videos, she provides information about the tree, the regions in which it grows, and the people involved in harvesting and milling the wood. In June, she delivered her presentation in Greensboro, North Carolina at the 2003 conference of the International Double Reed Society.


"Tug on anything at all and you'll find it connected to everything else in the universe."

- John Muir

In assembling this program Brenda interviewed representatives from conservation groups and the music industry, including Fauna and Flora International, the Cambridge Mpingo Project (renamed the Mpingo Conservation Project in March 2004), the ABCP, individuals from Kenya and Tanzania who live in San Francisco, and several different manufacturers of both oboes and clarinets.

ABCP 5-Year Plan in the Northern Circuit

The area where Sebastian will work to implement the ABCP 5-year program is called the Northern Circuit, an area encompassing three Regions of northeastern Tanzania: Tanga, Kilimanjaro and Arusha. Each of these regions is unique and of vital importance to the ecology and economic future of Tanzania, and each contains prime habitat areas for African blackwood. Arusha, to the west, contains some of Africa's best known game reserves - the Serengeti Plain, Ngorongoro Crater and scenic Lake Manyara. Much of the land cover of Arusha Region is miombo woodland, the unique deciduous dry forest of Central Africa of outstanding international importance for the conservation of plants and animals, including mpingo.

Kilimanjaro and Tanga Region contain the most important mountains in the country, Mt. Kilimanjaro, Mt. Meru and the Pare and Usambara Mountain ranges. These mountains feed the Pangani River, a water source that supplies water to agriculturalists and pastoralists and runs turbines for power plants at Nyumba and Hale, thus delivering electricity to a large population and making possible the establishment of various industries. Relatively speaking, the Northern Circuit is prosperous in comparison to some other areas of Africa, but this very prosperity is attracting a large influx of population and is leading to ecological problems that are becoming severe. Since over 80% of Tanzania's people make a living from agriculture, population growth has taken a huge toll on wooded areas because of clearing for farming and homebuilding. With the lack of modern electricity and alternate heating sources, fuelwood collection and charcoal making are depleting forests at a rapid rate. Since mpingo is a primary species that is used to make charcoal, this is one reason the species is completely extinct in some areas.

Through our expanded 5-year program, Sebastian hopes to establish nurseries and tree-planting programs to supply species that will ease the overcutting of trees in these vital areas and begin a program of sustainable harvesting through the planting of firewood, polewood and other commercial timber species, including, of course, mpingo




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