Our Work
Hardwood forests around the world are being decimated at an alarming rate. To date, we have partnered with 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

Representation at international
regulatory meetings

Direct Action

Partnering with
conservation projects

Education

Development of
a curriculum

Representation
Representation at international regulatory meetings
Bow and violin makers took a leadership role on environmental issues:
1999: International Pernambuco Conservation Initiative (IPCI) was established by bowmakers for the conservation and restoration of pernambuco
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

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List of Latin and Common Names for Instrument and Bow Raw Materials

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CITES
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna
The Alliance works as a member of the CITES Annotations Working Group (see below). The working group has grown to include virtually all other 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.

CITES Annotations Working Group

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cites
Direct Action

Partnering with conservation projects around the world

brazil

Brazil

Pernambuco

Brazil

brazil
International Pernambuco Conservation Initiative
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

Madagascar

Ebony

Madagascar

madagascar
Ebony research and reforestation in northeastern Madagascar

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.

Madagascar map

Credit: WCS-Madagascar

romania

Romania

Maple

Romania

romania
Protection for the Romanian primeval forests

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.

tree forest

Credit: Marita Kavelashvili (unsplash)

europe

Europe

Maple

Europe

europe
Forestry Planting Project for maple

Development of a management plan for European Maple.

More content coming soon...

Education
Development of a curriculum
In 2019, a group including international members of the Alliance, teachers and students at the Cremona International Violin Making School met to develop a program that would provide essential information for all who intended to make a living in the field of instrument or bow making. The goal was to create an educational conservation course outline that would be shared with all instrument and bow making schools around the world. 

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
  • Ethics
  • 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.