The African Blackwood Conservation Project (ABCP) officially began its mission in June 1996 with a fundraising appeal. It was established by James Harris in colloboration with Sebastian Chuwa to address conservation issues concerning the African Blackwood, or Mpingo, tree.
Initially, the primary goal of ABCP is to reintroduce Mpingo seedlings which have been grown in a nursery back into their natural habitat in Tanzania. To accomplish this end, funds are being sought to support the creation of the infrastructure needed. This consists of a piped-in water supply and construction of an irrigation system, fencing, a shelter building, miscellaneous nursery tools, the collection of seeds, and the hiring of a full-time attendant to care for the seedlings.
A one-acre plot donated by the town of Moshi, near Kilimanjaro, is being utilized for the nursery. If the support for ABCP is adequate, more acreage may be added in the future. It may also be of benefit to explore independent certification of a sustainable harvesting of Mpingo.
The time required for organizational responsibilities, publicity, fundraising and accounting for ABCP in the US will be donated by James Harris, creator of this web site. Organization, management and implementation of the project in the field in Tanzania will be provided by Mr. Sebastian Chuwa, a trained botanist.
As this project is in its founding stages, it remains to be seen what its future will be. Its success depends upon the support of all who are moved by this appeal to take action. As feedback and results come in, the progress of ABCP will be reported on this site.