Hardwood forests around the world are being decimated at an alarming rate. To date, we have supported conservation programs in Brazil, Madagascar and Romania in an effort to reverse this alarming trend that destroys precious hardwoods, impoverishes local communities and endangers the very future of our musical traditions.
The Alliance International meets yearly. Project presentations are carefully reviewed for relevance to our mission, scientific strength and ethical standards.
Representation at international
2007: IPCI lobbies CITES successfully for Pernambuco exception for finished bows
2013: EILA first music representative at CITES CoP16
2014: AFVBM initiates US music sector working group, leading to African elephant ivory de minimis exemption
2016: AFVBM creates a document of species used in instrument and bow making with legal status (below) to inform members and the trade of changing environmental restrictions.
2019: 25 music sector organizations working together on rosewood, wooly mammoth, cedrela, streamlining permitting
2022: Alliance working in full cooperation with U.S. Dept. of Fish & Wildlife to inform the greater musical community of an ongoing international investigation of the illegal cutting, transport and use of pernambuco. (PSA below for distribution to shops, teachers, musicians and to share on social media)
Please Help Prevent the Poaching of Pernambuco
List of Latin and Common Names for Instrument and Bow Raw Materials
The Alliance has representation at the Annotations Working Group to bring to the table the concerns of the musical community and how best to balance conservation with the preservation of our classical music traditions.
Over the last decade, the working group has grown to include many musical instrument trade organizations including representatives of orchestras and musicians.
A representative for the Alliance attended CITES meetings that addressed regulations on ivory and rosewood.
Annotations Working Group
Open in pdf
Supporting conservation projects around the world
Research, educational outreach and reforesting of Pernambuco
Pernambuco has been used to make professional stringed instrument bows for centuries; the wood of choice by musicians for its density, quick action, ability to hold a curve, tone and beauty. No other wood matches all of these qualities. Pernambuco grows only in the northeastern corner of Brazil and is rapidly disappearing with destruction of the Atlantic Rainforest due to population growth, agriculture, industry and illegal cutting of hardwood species.
In 1999, the IPCI was formed by concerned bowmakers from around the world to take constructive actions for the conservation and sustainable use of pernambuco. Working with Brazil’s scientific community and political leaders, comprehensive programs have been created which include scientific research projects, community outreach, education and replanting in various areas.
Madagascar's forests are under severe threat and their area is continuously decreasing. Rosewood and ebony used in making musical instruments grow in Madagascar's rainforests.
Since 2014, Eben!Holz has been supporting a comprehensive reforestation project in the Anjanaharibe forest corridor in the Maintimbato region in the Makira Nature Park.
The Carpathians, a mountain range stretching 1500 km across Central and Eastern Europe, are home to some of Europe's last remaining areas of original forest. The largest part of it is in Romania, mostly high-altitude mixed forests where the sycamore maple, which is indispensable in instrument making, grows. These are two-thirds of Europe's primeval and natural forests, excluding Scandinavia. Although they are protected as national and nature parks, EU Natura 2000 areas and UNESCO World Heritage, these precious forests are being destroyed by legal and illegal logging.
Eben!Holz has joined other environmental groups to provide financial support for the preparation and implementation of court proceedings at national and European level. In this way comprehensive protection is to be achieved and unlawful allocation of usage concessions is to be proven. This should stop large-scale deforestation and clear-cutting.
Credit: Marita Kavelashvili (unsplash)
Development of a management plan for European Maple.
More content coming soon...
The primary areas of focus would include:
- Materials used and characteristics
- Sources of materials
- Legality of materials
- How materials are selected and cut
- Environmental concerns
- CITES and other restrictions
- New alternative materials
- Need to take action to support the conservation and sustainable use of these species
Educational work of the Alliance was brought to a halt by the pandemic and the impact that was experienced by communities and schools. Cremona, Italy was particularly hard hit with great loss of life.
At this time, we begin again to create an educational program that will be available on our website and downloadable for use by teachers and students of all ages. Much information can be learned from our “Representation” and “Direct Action” sections that describe environmental challenges and work being done to protect pernambuco, ebony and maple. Information, maps and the full program will be added as it is created.