19 May 2010

SOUND & FAIR PARTNERS WITH JUST FORESTS TO REACH OUT TO IRISH AFRICAN BLACKWOOD USERS

Just Forests LogoSound & Fair has launched a partnership with Just Forests, an Irish non-governmental organisation, to raise awareness of the availability of Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified African blackwood, which is widely used in traditional Irish musical instruments.

African blackwood is the most commonly used wood in the manufacturing of instruments such as traditional Irish flutes, as well as other woodwind instruments such as clarinets, oboes and bagpipes.

Tom Roche, Director of Just Forests says: “For Just Forests this is a dream come true. We are delighted to partner with Sound & Fair in this very practical project through our Just Music initiative. This partnership will engage Irish musicians and Irish musical instrument makers with our fight against poverty and un-fair forest exploitation.”

The world’s first harvest of FSC-certified African blackwood was carried out in December 2009 in a Village Land Forest Reserve managed by Kikole village, southern Tanzania, under the guidance of the Mpingo Conservation Project.

Kikole received a payment of around £1,200 in return for 15m3 of African blackwood, a sum 400 times greater more than they would have received before FSC-certification.

The wood is currently being processed at an FSC-certified sawmill in Tanzania and will shortly be exported to the UK.

Neil Bridgland, Sound & Fair Campaign Manager, says: “Sound & Fair looks forward to working with Just Forests in reaching out to Irish woodworkers and establishing FSC-certified African blackwood as the standard source of supply for flute makers. Through FSC, flute manufacturers have an opportunity to facilitate a ‘win-win’ situation of environmental sustainability for the forests of Southern Tanzania and poverty alleviation for some of the world’s poorest people.”

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