A Call For Biofriendly Bagpipes

In my quest to find some enlightening and innovative advances in the fight against global warming, I came across a curious article…

In this article, Bagpipes a threat to the environment, the bagpipe has been declared an environmental menace.  The African Blackwood, which is used in the making of most quality bagpipes, is facing being wiped out in the near future.

Previously declared and banned as an instrument of war, the bagpipe is now being branded an environmental hazard, along with other members of the woodwind family.

“With its beauty, fine grain, durable structure and natural oils no other wood looks – or sounds – the same as African Blackwood,” said Georgina Magin, campaign coordinator of the conservation group Fauna & Flora International (FFI).

“But it has been heavily exploited for woodwind instruments like bagpipes and stocks are now seriously depleted.  If woodlands and the valuable timbers they contain are managed unsustainably, species such as African Blackwood will become extinct.”

The Mpingo Conservation Project (MCP) and FFI are working with local communities in Tanzania to create a more sustainable management of the Blackwood (known as Mpingo in Swahili).

It’s hard to imagine that the bagpipe could be singled out as a contributor to the decline of the African Blackwood – there can’t possible be that many bagpipes.  Without singling out any one group, it simply makes sense that we would manage all our forests and woods of value in a sustainable manner.

about the author

Sofia Lockhart

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