Pernambuco wood - listing by CITES

March 27, 2007 at 05:14 PM · We had a discussion in class today about Pernambuco wood and a proposal to list it by CITES. It sounds as though it could cause a few problems when travelling.

"In June of this year the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) committee is meeting to vote on a proposal to include pernambuco (the wood that fine bows are made from) in an Appendix II listing. This would effectively ban the international trade in the raw material.

The movement of existing bows across international borders may require special permits. This would affect any players who travel abroad and overseas players coming to Australia and, indirectly, competitions with overseas competitors, etc.

The International Pernambuco Conservation Initiative (IPCI) have successful conservation measures in place and these are developing year by year. The IPCI, an international collective of bow makers and related crafts, believes that the use of pernambuco for bow making can be sustainable and that a CITES appendix listing may be counter productive at this time.

The CITES Management Authority of Australia have requested feedback from people who might be affected if this proposal were passed."

Hannah

Replies (4)

March 28, 2007 at 05:26 AM · Hannah,

This same this now exists with guitarists and their (CITES banned) Brazilian Rosewood instruments.

I can indeed be a pain, if you don't plan ahead. You have to get a certificate, from either an appraiser or the original builder, that the item was built before the ban went into place. Also, you have to be very clear and specific when listing the item in your inventory manifest before you board.

As long as those things are taken care of, you should never have a problem. As with guitars, there are a LOT of bows taken on planes. The authorities will get used to it quickly.

The bigger problem, obviously, concerns future bows. I would imagine that most good bow makers have aged stockpiles to last them ten years or so.

By that time, CF technology (or something else) may literally surpass Pernambuco. Additionally, there may well be excellent wood substitutes for Pernambuco, that simply have yet to be tried. I've always thought Osage Orange might do well, (stiff, springy, and dry) and the stuff grows like weeds in the Southern US.

March 28, 2007 at 02:56 PM · Endangered? The plantation will supply more than enough wood for the bow making trade. Now the bow re-hair costs $90. I always suggest to the students to buy a brand new silver mounted pernambuco bow for that amount. Why bother to re-hair their bad bows.

March 30, 2007 at 12:02 AM · Hannah Donohoe,

I have posted that info actually more than a year ago in a discussion about bows. It is in the archives. I think it would be a bad mistake on their (CITES) part. The initiative by makers and others has been very effective, and to change policy now to such extremes would be ridiculous and catastrophic for many traveling artists etc.

March 30, 2007 at 12:25 AM · It has already been made. They actually have to make the wood into something outside the US. But you can still get them from shops.

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