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Chances are, if you’re listening to this, you either use a bow or make bows, which are highly likely to be made from pernambuco, a type of wood native to Brazil. Earlier this year, the Brazilian government proposed to reclassify pernambuco wood under CITES Appendix I from Appendix II, which would have placed all sorts of restrictions on the travel and trade of the wood – a disaster for travelling musicians and luthiers who would need new documentation for their bows.

Online editor Davina Shum speaks to Heather Noonan, the vice president for advocacy, League of American Orchestras. Heather attended the 19th CITES meeting in Panama City, where on 25 November, a decision was made to keep pernambuco wood under CITES Appendix II, with modified wording.

What does that mean for you? Heather explains what the modified classification entails, as well what measures musicians and bow makers can take to ensure the future of this precious wood.


Heather speaking at CITES negotiations