String players all over the world are worried about the possible classification of pernambuco wood in Appendix I of the CITES Convention (Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora). The launched an international petition which was signed already by over 5000 people.

The petition say: « We, the musicians European orchestras, international soloists, chamber musicians and teachers, call upon the representatives of the signatory States of the international convention of CITES who will soon vote on a proposal to classify pernambuco wood in Appendix I of the Convention.

Such a classification would entail insurmountable constraints for us- even in some cases the impossibility of traveling – thus jeopardizing the organization of tours and international master classes, fundamental to the culture of music worldwide. It would constitute a direct attack on our main working tool, the bow, an object of great international cultural significance for more than 300 years. »

The petition says that « Pernambuco is and remains the only wood allowing the manufacture of quality bows, essential for the learning and practicing of our art. »

It also emphasizes that a more appropriate regulated use of Pernambuco wood is a conservation opportunity for this species: « Bow makers from all over the world have come together since the year 2000 within the IPCI (International Pernambuco Initiative), with the support of string players, and have made it possible to replant more than 340,000 trees in Pernambuco to date. The commitment of these professionals has also made it possible to carry out numerous socio-cultural programs in Brazil, and botanical studies on this emblematic species of Brazilian wood.

In the long term, any ban on its reasonable use would be tantamount to signing a death warrant for the international craft of bow making and to annihilating the aesthetic sound of stringed instruments as we have known it since Beethoven, Brahms and Schubert. Moreover, it would actually threaten this species of wood even more, since bow makers are among those who invest the most in the preservation of Pernambuco and such a ban would amount to putting an end to the programs for the renewal of the species that they have been developing for more than 20 years.

Hundreds of thousands of musicians, art and music lovers would therefore find themselves directly and indirectly punished by this decision. And above all, the situation of Pernambuco – Brazil’s national tree – would not be improved in any way.

We therefore ask that discussions be initiated between the Brazilian authorities, CITES and professionals so that solutions can be found to best preserve this precious endemic species, for example by including it in the CITES Tree Species Program ( CTSP). ».

The petition is here (in several languages).


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