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The Ebony Project 2020: Sustainable Ebony Production in Cameroon

Raised toward our $16,000 Goal
51 Donors
Project has ended
Project ended on January 01, at 12:00 AM PST
Project Owners

The Ebony Project 2020: Sustainable Ebony Production in Cameroon

The Ebony Project

Home to more than 10,000 species and spanning across more than 5 countries, the Congo Basin is among the world's largest rain forests, second only to the Amazon - and it is slowly disappearing. This treasured ecosystem is home to the prized Ebony tree. Due to its superior quality, tone, and beautiful dark hue Ebony has been a critical source of wood in instrumentation. This hardwood species takes hundreds of years before reaching maturity, and for this reason has become immensely threatened. 

Taylor Guitars and UCLA have decided to join forces and stand against the grain in order to find a way to sustainably manage this valued tree species. 

Who Are We?

We are the 2019-2020 Sustainable Ebony Practicum Team, a collection of 6 senior UCLA Environmental Scientists. Collectively, we care about how the environment affects real world individuals and communities. Our 2019-2020 team consists of: Melissa, Madison, Ciara, Breezy, Ryan, and Kevin. We chose to work on this project to see the success of this in the future and well as practice sustainable development in a country where we are not the local community. This year, our team will collaborate with Taylor Guitars, the Cameroonian locals, and The Congo Basin Institute to expand on previous years research.   

What’s Been Done and What’s Happening Right Now?

Before this project started, information on the ebony tree was nearly non-existent. At the request of Bob Taylor, the owner of Taylor Guitars, UCLA students have spent the last 3 years collecting data on ebony and how to sustainably harvest it, ultimately creating an entirely novel dataset on the tree. The first year of the project looked at mapping out the distribution of ebony trees within Cameroon, while the second year of the project sought to understand and identify the pollinators of the ebony tree. The 3rd year of the project focused on discovering which areas would be best suitable for expanding the project while also considering the community who will care for the reforested trees.

Currently, the problem lies in figuring out the best way to continue to support and expand the sustainable ebony project rooted in Cameroon by clients Taylor Guitars and CBI. We are hoping to protect the longevity of a cherished species, support the creators of ebony intensive guitars, and develop the local community in a way that is accepted, desired, and hoped for!

What We Need!

The Project is currently in its four-year stage, and we need your help to keep it going! This collaborative effort will benefit local communities and ecosystems for years to come, and we hope it will carry on so that future students may also experience this amazing opportunity just as we hope to have. It is essential that our team goes to Cameroon to see how this project is affecting the local people. Our hope is to expand our project to many more villages and this cannot be done successfully from UCLA. We need to talk to the local people and work with them in their community.

Please give us your support to visit the local people, share our intentions, hear their stories, address their concerns, and assist future UCLA students to continue to better the project in the future years for sustainability. Your donations will provide the monetary expenses for our travelling, food and research materials!

How Your Donations Will Help Us!

You can help us students ACHIEVE OUR DREAMS. We are all passionate environmental scientists, and by donating you can let us explore opportunities that only a few people will get to experience! 

You will be able to SAVE EBONY WOOD. Extinction is not an appealing idea, and donating to this cause will save this species of trees that people love so much yet know so little about.

You can help the PEOPLE OF CAMEROON. Villagers need to work and make a living as well, and by teaching them and aiding in their farming methods/daily routines, they can benefit from sustainable resources and increase their quality of life! After all, conservation does not work unless you are cooperating with local people.

And lastly, you will be able to MAKE A CHANGE IN THIS WORLD. Our planet is facing a lot of environmental issues such as  deforestation, ocean acidification and, of course, climate change. By helping us out, you are actively saving our environment and creating better solutions for everyone on this planet.



Our way
of Thanking You


8 Clap

Your donation of 8 dollars will go towards food that we will be packing when we travel into the Cameroonian rainforest. As a thank you for your donation, we will send you a video of all of our team members doing the UCLA 8 Clap next to a growing ebony tree!

1 of Unlimited Claimed
Estimated Delivery: May 2020


Bloopers Video

A funny bloopers video compiled from outtakes and embarrassing moments that happened when we filmed our introductory video!

8 of Unlimited Claimed
Estimated Delivery: May 2020


Team Photo

Your donation of 20 dollars and 20 cents will help get this years 2020 Ebony Project Team to Cameroon to research something we are passionate about. As a thank you for your donation, we will send you a group picture of us conducting research.

6 of Unlimited Claimed
Estimated Delivery: May 2020


Thank You Video Email

As a thank you for donating, our team will send you a personalized video thanking you for your support.

8 of Unlimited Claimed
Estimated Delivery: January 2020


Handwritten Thank You

Your donation of $100 is making it possible for us to stay in Cameroon. This amount will cover lodging and transportation as we explore the Cameroonian rainforest. To say thanks, our entire team will send you a personalized thank you note for helping both the ebony tree and the local Cameroonians.

1 of Unlimited Claimed
Estimated Delivery: May 2020


Special Mysterious Souvenir

Want a special souvenir from Cameroon that will be brought back to you by our very own members? Donate now and get a mysterious surprise!

1 of Unlimited Claimed
Estimated Delivery: April 2020


Behind the Scenes Video

Your contribution if $250 is helping us step foot in Cameroon. Since you are making it possible for us to travel, we would love to let you know more about our travels. We will take behind the scenes videos throughout our trip, and we promise, they won’t disappoint.

0 of Unlimited Claimed
Estimated Delivery: May 2020


Credit in Final Presentation

You are a true fighter for ebony, the rainforest, and local Cameroonians! In addition to the perks above, we will acknowledge you in our final research presentation as a vital part of our success!

1 of Unlimited Claimed
Estimated Delivery: May 2020


Tree Dedication

Your donation of $750 will fund our flights to Cameroon. As a thank you for supporting our field work you will receive the aforementioned perks and get a tree planted in your honor. Your mark will be left in Cameroon for generations to come!

0 of Unlimited Claimed
Estimated Delivery: January 2020


Sustainable Partner Package

To thank you for your generosity, our cohort will graciously offer you all of the perks previously mentioned. This package will also include an invitation to our end of year research presentation and celebration.

0 of Unlimited Claimed
Estimated Delivery: January 2020
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