The sustainable ebony project is managed by the Congo Basin Institute in Cameroon with support from Crelicam and funded through a personal donation from Mr Bob Taylor, the founder and owner of Taylor Guitars. The project is being implemented by CBI participants, the University of California Los Angeles, the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture and the Higher Institute of Environmental Sciences.

CBI was proud to host several global forestry experts visiting Cameroon as part of Bob Taylor’s World Forestry Tour. CBI presented the progress on the ecology, geographical modelling, tissue culture, propagation community engagement components of the project and visited the tissue culture lab and nursery to show IITA’s progress on working out the best conditions for reproducing ebony in the laboratory from tissue fragments as part of Alvine Tchouga’s PhD work. The visit then proceeded to the World Agrofrorestry Centre (ICRAF) nursery to see conventional propagation techniques being explored by Marc Aurel, a student from HEIS followed by a visit to HEIS.

The visit allowed the team to better understand the objectives and progress on the ebony project and to witness some of the novel techniques being developed at CBI, a result of bringing diverse expertises from various institutions together to address complex modern issues.

Videos from the tour can be seen here and here. The story was also featured in IITA weekly bulletin.

Visitors included:

Bob Taylor, Taylor Guitars
Andre Bena, DG CRELICAM
Ahmadou Mboure, Crelicam
Vidal de Teresa, CEO Madinter
Steve McMinn, owner Pacific Rim Tonewoods, Concrete, WA USA. www.pacificrimtonewoods.com Steve is partner in Taylor’s Hawaiian business Paniolo Tonewoods www.paniolotonewoods.com
Kevin Burke, of Pacific Rim Tonewoods and Paniolo Tonewoods.
Nicholas Koch, of Forest Solutions, Hawaii www.forestsolutionshawaii.com
Scott Paul, Taylor Guitars, Director of Natural Resource Sustainability.
Paul Akers, Fastcap, American Innovators www.fastcap.com   www.paulakers.net


Taylor and CBI teams in the IITA nursery where they witnessed tissue harvesting techniques.

Dr Zac Tchoundjeu demonstrating nursery techniques used for ebony propagation at the World Agroforestry Nursery (ICRAF).


Vidal de Teresa (Madinter) and Bob Taylor (Taylor Guitars) examining the first ebony plants ever produced via tissue culture at the IITA nursery.

Dr Zac Tchoundjeu presenting his agrofrorestry experience to the Taylor team.

Alvine Tchouga presenting her work on tissue culture techniques to the Taylor team.