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British Petroleum

British Petroleum has supported the work of mpingo conservation for many years, including supplying fuel for Sebastian’s projects in Kilimanjaro Region. In 2001 they published an article about his tree planting work in their international magazine Horizon.

They also support Steve Ball’s work in southern Tanzania. (See related article “Mpingo Conservation Project.”)

During the past year Sebastian met with Fred Kibodya, Corporate Affairs Manager for BP Tanzania, Dar es Salaam. Mr. Kibodya proposed an initiative to plant African blackwood trees at a number of BP petrol stations along the Arusha to Dar es Salaam road. This initiative will directly spotlight the cause of mpingo conservation along the busy thoroughfare.

British Petroleum has once again provided Sebastian with a fuel allotment for the coming year. Their ongoing support is greatly appreciated by the ABCP.

40th Anniversary at Mweka

n December of 2003, Sebastian addressed a symposium celebrating the 40th anniversary of the founding of Mweka College of African Wildlife Management, one of the most prestigious institutes for the training of conservationists in Africa. The conference theme was “Conservation in Crisis: Experiences and Prospects for Saving Africa’s Natural Resources.


The true meaning of life
is to plant trees,
under whose shade
you do not expect to sit. 

– Nelson Henderson

Sebastian spoke on the topic: “To Utilize or To Conserve? — Establishing Sustainable Community Conservation Practices on Mt. Kilimanjaro." He said that he received many questions about his Malihai work and the ABCP because his was the only paper presented about grassroots action in one of Africa’s protected areas.

On the last day he was allotted extra time to talk because many participants were interested in his ideas about practical ways to establish environmental activities in their local areas. Many people asked how they could obtain mpingo seeds. Sebastian comments that, “The work of the ABCP is spreading to many people in different areas now.”

Mpingo Conservation Project

Steve Ball is a British mpingo researcher who has led several scientific expeditions to Lindi Region in southern Tanzania in an attempt to estimate remaining stocks of the tree. Steve’s Mpingo Conservation Project recently received a grant from British Petroleum to institute programs for sustainable use practices for the species in Lindi Region.

This area of Tanzania was relatively isolated until the recent completion of a bridge across the Rufiji River which has opened the region to new immigration. Unfortunately trafficking in illegally felled timber is already beginning and widespread deforestation is likely in the coming years.

 Conservation is a state
of harmony
between men and land.
                  –Aldo Leopold,
A Sand County Almanac, 1949.

Steve’s project will establish liaisons with several villages in instituting Participatory Forest Management practices in the extraction of mpingo and other valuable timber species. Sustainable utilization of important commercial species will generate income for the local people and at the same time preserve natural resources for future generations.

The project also includes educational initiatives to raise public awareness about mpingo as well as funding for cooperative research projects for mpingo with students from the University of Dar es Salaam. The website of the Mpingo Conservation Project has more information at

Moshi Makonde Carvers

In 2001 the United Nations Development Program, in association with the United Nations Fund, launched a major initiative called COMPACT (Community Management of Protected Areas Conservation Project). The aim of the initiative is to promote the involvement of the communities who live and derive their livelihood around Mt. Kilimanjaro in conserving the mountain, improving livelihood for its one million inhabitants and establishing sustainable practices for the utilization of its natural resources.

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