22 Sep 2011

US LAWMAKERS: THE LACEY ACT TARGETS INSTRUMENT MAKERS NOT MUSICIANS

Misinformation has been abundant in the media reporting of the Lacey Act investigation of Gibson guitars.

Particularly misleading has been the widespread suggestion that musicians could have their instruments seized on suspicion that they contain illegally harvested wood, even if those instruments were built many years ago.

Some commentators have even suggested that Michelle Obama could be arrested after giving France’s First Lady, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, a gift of a Gibson guitar during a recent state visit.

Peddlers of such myths fail to understand the fundamentals of the Lacey Act, most significantly the rule that in order for a prosecution to take place the buyer of wood must be aware of illegality. (more…)

22 Sep 2011

LACEY ACT WINS WORLD FUTURE COUNCIL AWARD

The Lacey Act, US legislation aimed at controlling the importation of illegally harvested wood, was a winner at the 2011 World Future Council‘s Future Policy Awards.

The Future Policy Award provides valuable international recognition of the Lacey Act as one of the world’s most inspiring and innovative forest policies. (more…)

20 Sep 2011

TAYLOR AND MARTIN GUITARS EXPRESS SUPPORT FOR THE LACEY ACT

With the Lacey Act under sustained assault from right wing commentators and some sections of the music industry, it has been refreshing to see some notable figures in the guitar world expressing their support for the US legislation aimed at curtailing illegal logging.

Chris Martin, Chairman and CEO C.F. Martin Guitar, said: “I think it’s a wonderful thing. I think illegal logging is appalling. It should stop. And if this is what it takes unfortunately to stop unscrupulous operators, I’m all for it. It’s tedious, but we’re getting through it.” (more…)

15 Sep 2011

AFRICAN BLACKWOOD JEWELLERY TO FEATURE AT LONDON FASHION WEEK

The Africa East jewellery collection by Candescent will be exhibited at Ecoluxe London during London Fashion Week later this month.

The collection comprises sculptural pieces hand carved out of lustrous African blackwood, including a ring, pendant, earrings, brooch and bangle.

The pieces are imbued with pink rubies and 18ct gold. (more…)

13 Sep 2011

GIBSON AND THE LACEY ACT – A GAME CHANGER IN THE MUSIC INDUSTRY

Musical instrument manufacturers generally do not ask detailed questions about the conditions under which the wood they buy has been harvested, processed and transported.

In the absence of any legislation forcing such thinking, voluntary ethics have been conspicuous by their absence.

The Lacey Act, quite simply, is a game changer.

Now US manufacturers that operate opaque, third-party brokered supply chains risk seeing armed Federal agents seizing wood from their manufacturing plants. (more…)

2 Sep 2011

FSC AFRICAN BLACKWOOD JEWELLERY SHOWCASES IN COPENHAGEN AND LONDON

Danish design company, Munio, showcased a new range of ethically-sourced jewellery, featuring FSC-certified African blackwood from community-owned forests in Tanzania, at the recent Nordic Jewellery Fair in Copenhagen.

(more…)

9 Aug 2011

MARTIN DOYLE LAUNCHES WORLD’S FIRST FLUTE MADE FROM FSC AFRICAN BLACKWOOD

Irish flute manufacturer, Martin Doyle, has produced the world’s first flute made from African Blackwood sourced from a Forest Stewardship Council® certified supplier.

Martin Doyle has been a prominent supporter of the sustainable use of African Blackwood for a number of years. This has included the production of radio documentaries exploring the use and conservation of African Blackwood.

(more…)

2 Aug 2011

FSC-CERTIFICATION STOPS THE ‘BLEEDING’ FROM TANZANIA’S FORESTS

By John Kabubu, WWF Coastal East Africa Communications

The sound of a saw cutting deep into the kiaat tree (Pterocarpus angolensis, also called “bloodwood”) in a forest in Kisangi village fills the air. Sweat drips from the body of 56-year-old Rafii Hashim as he pushes the saw rhythmically back and forth to ensure a smooth cut. The birds are chirping, the forest air is clean and the lungs present are only too happy not to be breathing in the heavy and polluted city air. As the saw cuts through the tree, it bleeds a deep red color. It’s not unusual for the kiaat tree to release red colored sap from its trunk when cut.

The harvesting of trees in Kisangi village goes on in an orderly manner and without fear. This is because all activities being undertaken are legal and sanctioned by both government and the community. FSC® certification is slowly taking root in some villages around Kilwa and Lindi districts in southern Tanzania.

(more…)

18 Jul 2011

COMIC RELIEF TO CONTINUE FUNDING SOUND & FAIR

Comic Relief recently announced that they would provide continuation funding for the Sound & Fair campaign for a period of one year.

Comic Relief’s support has been fundamental to the success of the campaign to date which in the past few months has seen major musical instrument manufacturers, including Martin Guitars, place orders for FSC-certified African blackwood.

The continuation funding enables Sound & Fair to build on these exciting developments with the aims of engaging with new manufacturing partners, bringing a range of FSC-certified  instruments to market and ultimately delivering increased benefits to Tanzanian forest communities.

13 Jun 2011

PARLIAMENT TO DEBATE UK BAN ON ILLEGAL TIMBER

The UK Government will come under renewed pressure this week to introduce legislation to ban the import, sale and distribution of illegally logged timber products.

A Private Member’s Bill proposed by Brighton Pavilion MP, Caroline Lucas, comes up for its second reading in Parliament on Friday 10th June 2011.

The Illegally Logged Timber Bill (Prohibition of Import, Sale or Distribution) would make it a criminal offence for a person or company to trade in illegally logged timber and timber products. (more…)

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