Chip BarberAustin Clowes

More than 100,000 people recently met in southern California for the 2017 National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) show, an annual gathering for those who buy and sell musical instruments, equipment and just about everything else related to music performance and education. From January 25-28, the Anaheim Convention Center saw tech wizards hawking the latest recording software rub elbows with manufacturers of everything from clarinet reeds to guitar amplifiers, while retailers, distributors and music professionals walked the convention floor. Bands played from noon until midnight.


Austin ClowesChip Barber

In this episode of the WRI Podcast, Lawrence MacDonald sits down with Chip Barber and Austin Clowes of the Forest Legality Initiative to talk about their work on sustainability in the guitar industry.

The music industry sells millions of guitars a year, and the instrument is integral to musical traditions from blues and rock ‘n roll to flamenco and classical music. These traditions rely on specific types of wood, known as tonewoods, to produce the distinctive timbre of the guitar.


Austin Clowes

Rosewood is sought for use in guitar fretboards like this one. Bill Selak/Flickr





Welcome to the fourth installment of WRI’s six-part blog series on the future of tonewoods, the woods used in guitars and other musical instruments. In each installment, we look at a different species of tree used for a certain part of the guitar. Each wood presents its own challenges and possibilities surrounding sustainable harvest. 

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Meaghan Parker
World Resources Institute

The Forest Legality Alliance convened its members and partners on July 6 and 7 in the new Harmon Conference Center at World Resources Institute headquarters in Washington, D.C.  With the 17th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) scheduled for the end of September, most of the meeting was focused on the growing profile of timber species in the CITES convention.  The July meeting was the last FLA gathering to be convened under WRI’s C