Dec
3

Author:

Comment

New CITES Certifications for African Blackwood, It’s Been Leading to This

africanblackwood

The global piping community seems to be in a tizzy because the the recently announced addition of species of Dalbergia, including Dalbergia melanoxylon (African blackwood) to the Convention of International Trade for Endangered Species (CITES) Appendix II. On January 2, 2017, the tree will officially be a part of the list.

It’s important to cut through the bluster and realize that the addition of the tree to this particular list simply means that participating countries must create some sort of management process that addresses the protection required of all species on this list when it comes to export. Mostly, this requires that new species added to the list would be rolled into current certification and monitoring. Yes, global trade will be more restrictive but global trade in the natural materials of anything on this list requires tracking and certification when exported to other countries in order to protect the resource.

Trade in African blackwood (Dalbergia melanoxylon), or mpingo as it is called in Tanzania, the primary country where this tree is grown today, has been the subject of scrutiny for the better part of a decade or more, as has been all species of Dalbergia. Market data from 2007 indicated that illegally harvested blackwood accounted for 96% of the market—most of that as a result of clear-cutting land for farming. The use of valuable blackwood for luxury items such as cell phones and toilet seats did not help matters. Stricter controls and tighter rules have allowed growers in Tanzania to create a sustainable crop of the tree that follows all the necessary regulations required for legitimate trade. There is no reason to believe that any these suppliers would be affected in any way by new monitoring as their product is already certified by recognized global organizations.

Way back in 2007, I wrote an extensive piece for the EUSPBA’s The Voice magazine, “Blackwood Down,” that gave a thorough overview of African market conditions and predictions of what it could mean for future bagpipe makers. One of those predictions was that a more tightly controlled market for blackwood would encourage the use of alternative woods for making Highland bagpipes. Some things have definitely changed in the 9 years since, but it is still well worth a read for bagpipers to get a sense of the market conditions for the wood that drives our art.

Read “Blackwood Down.”

Projects

pipehackertape_08

Pipehacker Pro Tip: Hotel Card Chanter Tape

Friday, January 8, 2016

The modern competitive bagpiper can become quite the connoisseur of hotel rooms and beds. International competition and even the local US circuit will have a piper and his…

pipehacker_humidifier_display

Pipehacker Project: The Handy Reed Humidifier

Friday, June 19, 2015

Bagpipes, and the accessories that go along with them, have changed little over the last 100 years or more. The way we set up and care for our…

P1020731

Pipehacker Project: The Chanter Cap Reed Dryer

Monday, September 15, 2014

The chanter cap has become as ubiquitous a part of the pipe box as a roll of black tape. But moisture left on the reed after playing can…

pipehacker_reedtech18

Pipehacker Project: The Reed-Hack Survival Pack

Thursday, March 6, 2014

The Highland bagpipers need to be versed in all the skills to sound their best. In the true Pipehacker tradition, here is a sporran-sized, exquisitely portable survival kit for reedsmithing and manipulation. Make your own pipe-hacked, miniaturized versions of the tools you need for reed-hacking while practicing or fine tuning before performance time.

pipehacker_bagpipe_gauge_00

Top Pipehacker Project in 2013: The Piper’s Perfect Pressure Gauge

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The bagpiping world seems to be divided up into two groups: 1) The denizens of bagpipe internet forums who are sure manometers, i.e., tubes filled with water, will…

watertrap

Pipehacker Project: The Black Strap Water Trap

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Moisture to the bagpiper is like DDT to the mosquito. A build up of too much moisture in your instrument means certain death of your reeds and nothing…

ZoomH2pipehacker

Pipehacker Project: Recording Your Professional Personal Piping Performances

Friday, June 29, 2012

You’re serious about your bagpiping, right? Of course you are. You take all the necessary steps to treat your instrument with care and acquire all the skills and…

pipehacker_bagpipe_gauge_00

Pipehacker Project: The Piper’s Perfect Pressure Gauge

Friday, February 3, 2012

The bagpiping world seems to be divided up into two groups: 1) The denizens of bagpipe internet forums who are sure manometers, i.e., tubes filled with water, will…

Content Protected Using Blog Protector By: PcDrome.