Many of us realize that the world's supply of grenadilla wood is diminishing everyday; however, we might never stop to ponder the ecological and social concerns associated with the harvesting of the African blackwood tree, also known as the mpingo tree. One interesting article tackling this subject, "The Dark Side of Music: Clarinets, Woodwinds and the Mpingo Tree," posted by the Buffalo Story Project, delves into the business side of illegal gathering of the wood and how it affects not only the commercial components of the business, but also the natives who tend to the land.
As mentioned in the article and in a previous Clarinet Cache post, one organization dedicated to saving the mpingo tree is Clarinets For Conservation. Supporters for this cause reach the children of Tanzania by teaching them about the importance of conservation and gives them the opportunity to learn how to play the clarinet. Visit their website to learn more on how you can help save the mpingo tree and become a sponsor for their organization.