ABCP Progress Report


July 2017 - Elizabeth presented with certificate by Jane Goodall, for the "dedication, commitment and passion" displayed in her many years of work to establish youth conservation groups in the schools of Mt. Kilimanjaro.

2015 - 2017 - ABCP Moshi Mpingo Plot is visited by several representatives of international firms interested in collecting information about replanting programs for Dalbergia melanoxylon.

October 2015 - Michael and Cyril transport seedlings from the ABCP nursery for replanting during a Roots and Shoots graduation ceremony in the town of Mabilioni. Michael addresses the students about the work of the ABCP and the importance of conservation.

September 2015 - Elizabeth is guest of honor at a Roots and Shoots sponsored ceremony held in unison with the UN International Day of Peace. She delivers an address on the importance of activity-based programs to conserve the environment.

Summer 2015 - Good Gifts funding is used to sponsor tree planting at Kibosho Mission in Kilimanjaro, Don Bosco Seminary in Mwanga and St. Teresa of Avila Secondary School in Same.

June 2015 - Dismas travels to neighboring schools with Michelle von Haugg and volunteer teachers from Clarinets for Conservation to instruct students on planting mpingo trees and conserving the environment.

2015 - Maintenance and renovation of the Moshi Mpingo Plot nursery shelter, undertaken by Dismas Macha, and Michael and Cyril Chuwa, to repair and reinforce the metal structure of the shelter and make repairs in the shade netting.

April 8, 2014 - Sebastian Chuwa, at the age of 60, passes away as a result of a stroke with heart complications. Elizabeth Chuwa and her brother, Dismas Macha, assume directorship of the ABCP after Sebastian's passing.

November 2013 - Sebastian is sponsored by the Rolex Awards for Enterprise committee to attend its biennial award ceremony in New Delhi, India where five laureates are honored.

2013 - ABCP cooperates in new initiative with Clarinets for Conservation, a US group of musicians which donates instruments and teaches music to Secondary School students in northern Tanzania.

2013 - Mpingo trees are planted at the following schools: Chekereni, Msufini, Makuyuni and Mabungo Primary schools and Nsoo, Uchira and Mji Mpya Secondary schools. Private landowners in the villages of Uchira and Mijongweni also planted trees.

2013 - Sebastian cooperates with outreach workers from Sokoine University to institute projects such as bee-keeping and bio-gas technology intended to enhance the economic well-being of Kilimanjaro residents.

2013 - Villagers of Makuyuni hand dig a mile and a half long pipeline to bring water to the mpingo plot and expand planting into new acreage.

2012 - A grant from the Cottonwood Foundation funds the building of a new living and office structure at the Moshi Mpingo Plot.

2012 - The ABCP, youth groups and local residents associated with Sebastian's work celebrated the planting of two million trees during ceremonies in the village of Uru East. 1500 people attended the ceremonies.

2011 - The village of Makuyuni allocates seven more acres of village land towards mpingo planting, with funding provided by the Good Gifts Catalogue.

2011 - 50,000 trees are planted by the ABCP, distributed through school groups, private landowners and the village of Makuyuni. Three women's groups participate in producing tree seedlings for distribution - the Faraja Women's Group, the Green Garden Women's Group and the Mpingo Women's Group.

November 2010 - Sebastian travels to Lausanne, Switzerland as an honorary guest of the Rolex Awards for Enterprise, to attend ceremonies honoring five recipients of the Rolex Young Laureates Programme. This is a newly initiated program and is designed to support the work of visionary young men and women under the age of 30.

April 2010 - The Sunderland Partnership, a UK NGO that supports sustainable living for its local community as well as targeted international conservation efforts, chose the ABCP for recipient funding in connection with a climbing expedition to Mt. Kilimanjaro by certain of its members. Archdeacon Stephen Taylor presented the grant to Sebastian.

2010 - Craig Samuel, US technological consultant, provides funding for new nursery structure for ABCP's closely affiliated group, the Kibosho East Environmental Group (KEEG).

2010 - French documentary entitled "Trees of Kilimanjaro" chronicles Sebastian's life and his conservation work on Mt. Kilimanjaro to restore its ecosystems to the natural beauty of his childhood years. It is produced by French freelance journalist Luc Ihadaddene and filmmaker David Castello-Lopes.

2010 - The Good Gifts Catalogue provides funding for new land allocation at Makuyuni. Mr. Gladstone Mariki, village leader of the project, reports the planting of over 5,000 new mpingo trees.

2010 - The ABCP is awarded a Certificate of Participation for its record of having planted almost 2 million trees by the United Nations Environmental Progamme (UNEP) program "Plant for the Planet: Billion Tree Campaign." This was a campaign initiated by Kenya Professor Wangari Maathai, who inspired the planting of 30 million trees in Kenya.

January - December, 2009 - Mpingo planting projects are carried out in villages of Kirua Vongo, Mkongo, Maji ya Chai and in Kahawa Road farmland area on land allocated by private owners. Planting outreach at Kilindini, Kisiwani and Kikatiti schools. Boma N'Gombe Women's Group allocates land to planting over 3,000 mpingo trees.

Fall 2009 - Sebastian and Cyril Chuwa travel to Mbulu, west of Moshi to begin replanting project with landowner near Lake Manyara, with the objective of eventually planting over 1500 mpingo.

June 2009 - Sebastian and Elizabeth travel to the University of Aberdeen where they meet with academics at the School of Biological Sciences. Sebastian is keynote speaker at a public lecture on the topic: "Planning for the Future in Tanzania."

June 2009 - Sebastian and Elizabeth attend World Forum Conference in Belfast, Ireland. The objective of the meeting is to create a global exchange for early childhood care professionals to share ideas. Sebastian leads forum on "Bringing Nature into Indoor Classrooms."

September 2008 - The Cottonwood Foundation awards an ABCP pass-through grant to the Kibosho East Environmental Group (KEEG), which operates a nursery in the Sungu community on Mt. Kilimanjaro. The KEEG sponsors replanting projects on Mt. Kilimanjaro to combat deforestation and to provide tree seedlings for the domestic needs of communities on the mountain.

July 2008 - Sebastian and Elizabeth visit James and Bette in Red Rock, Texas USA and meet local environmentalists in the Austin area. They are interviewed by Mark Blumenthal, founder of the American Botanical Council. Its quarterly journal, "Herbalgram" runs an in-depth article about mpingo and the work of the ABCP in its fall issue.

July 2008 - Sebastian and Elizabeth attend an international conference for youth education sponsored by the World Forum Foundation, the Nature Action Collaborative for Children and the Arbor Day Foundation. Objective of the conference was to share ideas and methodologies contributing to the re-introduction of nature into the lives of children.

Spring 2008 - Major replanting project for mpingo funded by the Good Gifts Catalogue initiated at Makuyuni, east of Moshi. Villagers vote to allocate 7 acres of village community land to grow mpingo. Project begins with clearing of the land. 5,000 mpingo seedlings planted at Kilindini Primary School. 4,000 seedlings planted at Kirua and Kilema.

October 1, 2007 - The Yahoo! Green Icon Challenge, a contest by yahoo.com to solicit designs for new icons that will be used by Yahoo! in promoting environmentally friendly products, services, and ideas for viewers to implement to make a positive difference in the challenge to address global climate change, has chosen Kristian Mohl's design for its runner-up award. Kristian has chosen the ABCP as the conservation organization to receive the prize of $5,000 that Yahoo! is donating to the contest winner's charity of choice.

September 2007 - The Cottonwood Foundation awards an ABCP pass-through grant to the Environmental Greenishing Group in Arusha, Tanzania, for the purpose of establishing a nursery and funding community environmental education in the Arusha area.

September 2007 - Funding from contributions donated to the Good Gifts Catalog during the first half of 2007 funds the planting of approximately 3,000 mpingo trees, making a total of over 21,000 trees that are funded by their donations.

June 2, 2007 - Sebastian Chuwa awarded the J. Sterling Morton Award, the top honor given by The National Arbor Day Foundation, at ceremonies at Nebraska City, Nebraska.

April 2007 - Construction of new nursery shelter at Moshi Mpingo Plot, expanding capacity to produce 100,000 seedlings every 18 months.

March 2007 - Funding from contributions donated to the Good Gifts Catalog during the last half of 2006 funds the planting of approximately 18,000 mpingo trees.

November 2006 - Sebastian Chuwa named as one of three runner-ups for the annual World Savers Environmental Award from the Condé Nast Traveler magazine in its November, 2006 issue.

October 2006 - The Cottonwood Foundation grants funding to the ABCP for purchasing sunshade netting for rebuilding the original nursery shelter at the Moshi Mpingo Plot, destroyed in a storm in the spring of the year. Also funded is fencing to fence in an additional acre of land behind the MMP which was given to the ABCP to use for conservation purposes by the local village committee.

September 2006 - US Coordinators/Directors James and Bette (Stockbauer) Harris visit Tanzania, and are guests of the Chuwa family in their house on Mt. Kilimanjaro. They visit the Moshi Mpingo Plot and see various ABCP activities and communicate with associated groups. Sebastian and Elizabeth guide their guests on a wildlife safari to Lake Manyara, Tarangire, Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti national parks, a generous gift from Gary Strand, owner of Wildlife Explorer in Arusha. See a slide show of photos from the trip here.

March 2006 - The Green Garden Women's Group receives a grant from New England Biolabs Foundation for various self-help projects including planting mpingo trees.

October 2005 - The Cottonwood Foundation grants funding to the ABCP for doubling the size of the nursery shelters at the Moshi Mpingo Plot by building a new shelter.

Jan 15, 2005 - The Fonga Women's Group receives a grant from New England Biolabs Foundation for implementing sustainable development projects and mpingo planting programs.

2004 - The ABCP reaches Sebastian's original goal of planting 20,000 mpingo trees, the number of mpingo estimated to be harvested in Tanzania every year.

Sept. 8, 2004 - In ceremonies at Sungu Village, the ABCP celebrated the planting of a million trees under its stewardship.

October 2004 - The Cottonwood Foundation grants funding to the ABCP for finishing up the shelter for workers and tools and supplies at the Moshi Mpingo Plot.

October 2003 - The Cottonwood Foundation grants funding to the ABCP for a shelter for workers and tools and supplies at the Moshi Mpingo Plot.

October 9, 2003 - The ABCP is recognized with a letter of determination by the US Internal Revenue Service as a Section 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable organization, after a 4-year trial period.

Oct. 22, 2002 - Rolex Awards for Enterprise announced in London with Sebastian Chuwa chosen as an Associate Laureate. The prize money received at a ceremony in London on Nov. 6 will be used to further the projects he has begun with the Lindbergh Grant in 2002.

Summer 2002 - Community Management of Protected Areas Conservation Project (COMPACT) initiated on Mt. Kilimanjaro by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and United Nations Foundation (UNF). Sebastian works as liaison between program officials and community leaders to help in instituting poverty abatement and sustainable development projects on Mt. Kilimanjaro.

May 2002 - Sebastian attends the UN sponsored "High Summit Conference for Africa" in Nairobi, Kenya.

May 2002 - The Cottonwood Foundation grants funding to the ABCP for a computer to make educational environmental videos.

April 2002 - The Mpingo Women's Group receives a grant from the New England Biolabs Foundation for implementing sustainable development projects and mpingo planting programs in Kikafu chini, south of Moshi.

April 2002 - In celebration of Earth Day the US embassy in Dar es Salaam asks Sebastian to be a member of a panel discussion focusing on sustainable development.

February 2002 - The Salt Lake Olympic Committee presents Sebastian with the "Spirit of the Land" award during Olympic ceremonies in Salt Lake City, Utah.

October 2001 – Sebastian attends Fauna and Flora International (FFI) conference in Dar es Salaam. FFI, with a grant from the German government, is spearheading efforts to investigate certification and sustainable harvesting practices for mpingo. Sebastian delivers an address describing the work of the ABCP.

July 2001 – British Petroleum awards second fuel donation to support Sebastian's work.

June 2001 – Sebastian attends a meeting of foresters and representatives of the timber industry from northern Tanzania. Addresses the group about the international importance of African blackwood as a commercial species and outlines the work of the ABCP.

May 29, 2001 – Article by Mr. Charles Mmbaga of British Petroleum entitled "Chuwa: The Man Behind the Mpingo Project" is published in The Guardian, a leading Dar es Salaam newspaper.

May 2001 – Terry Harnwell and John Parkin, of www.africanconservation.com, design a website for the Kilimanjaro Environmental Conservation Management Trust Fund: www.kilimanjarotrust.org.

April 2001– Sebastian attends UNEP seminar in Mombasa, Kenya and presents information about his youth education projects in the Kilimanjaro area. He and 5 other participants from Tanzania draw up an action plan for environmental education programs in schools throughout Tanzania.

December 2000 – Sebastian delivers an address about threats to mpingo and steps taken by the ABCP to replenish its numbers at a conference at Mweka College of Wildlife Management in Tanzania. The theme of the conference is "Wildlife Management in the New Millennium" and the guest speaker is Jane Goodall.

November 2000-May 2001 – Sebastian visits 34 schools and addresses students, teachers and parents about environmentalism and mpingo conservation. Sets up video showings for over 4000 students.

November 2000 – The Kibosho East Environmental Choir records songs composed by Sixtus Koromba and Sebastian Chuwa at a recording studio in Arusha, Tanzania.

October 2000 – Sebastian is elected to political office as Counselor of the district of Kibosho East.

October 2000 – Second grant awarded by the Cottonwood Foundation for the installation of a pump and piping to carry water from the Kikafu River to the Moshi Mpingo Plot.

July 1, 2000 – Mr. Charles Mmbaga, Public Relations Officer for British Petroleum Tanzania, announces that BP Tanzania will support the travel expenses of Sebastian's work on the Lindbergh Foundation grant with a fuel donation.

June 29, 2000 – Press release issued by the Lindbergh Foundation announcing award of a grant to support Sebastian's ongoing tree replanting, to purchase video equipment and support his environmental educational outreach activities to local schools and communities.

Oct. 16, 1999 – ABCP is awarded a grant for its conservation activities in Tanzania by the Cottonwood Foundation. A 2000 liter water tower is purchased and installed in the Moshi Mpingo Plot. Photos of this project may be seen in Sebastian's Photo Journal – Index No. 4.

September 20, 1999 – Sebastian appointed by Regional Government Authority as Chairman of the Kilimanjaro Environmental Conservation Management Trust Fund. Because of this post he also becomes a member of the Regional Environmental Conservation Committee.

August 1999 – Mpingo seeds received in the US from Sebastian. Seeds to be distributed to those interested in experimenting with growing mpingo and to seed banks and agroforestry research centers in the Southwest US.

October 1999 - The ABCP is granted non-profit status as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization by the US Internal Revenue Service.

April 29, 1999 – The ABCP is incorporated under the laws of the state of Texas as a non-profit corporation.

April 27, 1999 – Domain name of www.blackwoodconservation.org established as new permanent URL for the ABCP website.

December 1998 – Work commences on transplanting the 15-month-old seedlings–46 townspeople have requested mpingo seedlings. Farmers who have requested plants transplant the young trees along field boundaries. With help from the Mpingo Clubs and villagers, 800 mpingos are replanted into the wild. On the one-acre plot 3000 Dovyalis plants, a bushy fruit-bearing shrub, are planted between the fence posts to form a permanent barrier when the fence posts deteriorate. Mpingo are planted into the one-acre plot in Moshi.

Summer and Fall of 1998 – Work begins on one-acre plot (fence built, ground cultivated) to prepare it to receive mature transplants.

August 1997 – This website activated to serve as an informational focal point for the ABCP.

August 1997 – Annual Report and Newsletter, chronicling the first year's experience of the ABCP, is mailed out to contributors and others with a connection to wood turning, conservation and the music trade.

Summer 1997 – Sebastian begins to establish Mpingo Clubs. Makes contacts with local people to find eventual placement for some of the young trees.

February 1997 – Sebastian plants first seedlings during spring rains.

Jan. 1997 – Sebastian gives short course in Moshi, instructing participants in how to take care of seeds, prepare seedbed and raise seedlings. Purchases garden equipment, constructs shelter for the seedlings, which need shade in the early months.

August 1996 – Sebastian makes preparations for first nursery. Clears brush and weeds from one-acre plot donated by friend to the project.

July 1996 – African Blackwood Conservation Project established as legal entity with county clerk of Travis County, Texas.

June 1996 – First fundraiser mailed out. Contribution sent to establish bank account for ABCP in Arusha, Tanzania.

June 1995 – First communication with Sebastian. Project proposed, various details concerning project discussed, methods of communication and funds transfer resolved.

THE PROJECT PHOTO JOURNAL 1997 ANNUAL REPORT 1999 ANNUAL REPORT 2000 ANNUAL REPORT

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Last revised 19 November 2008.