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Resolve, DDI Merge To Better Bolster Responsible Artisanal Mining July 22, 2020 (0 comments)

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Washington, DC--Resolve and the Diamond Development Initiative (DDI) have joined forces to bolster both organizations’ capacities to support responsible sourcing of artisanally-mined diamonds, gold, cobalt and other critical minerals such as tin, tantalum, and tungsten (the “three T’s”), and more.

The two non-profits will integrate their programs, including those on responsible mining practices and standards, post-mining land use, support for livelihoods, reclamation, and restoration. The merger is designed as an impact multiplier, bringing together 50+ years of combined experience in conflict prevention and resolution, poverty reduction, biodiversity protection, supply chain due diligence, and ethical products.

DDI was launched as a response to conflict diamonds, and evolved as a leader in transforming the informal diamond mining sector in Africa to more formal, efficient, and environmentally responsible approaches. DDI created and applied the Maendeleo Diamond Standards, the first-ever set of standards for ethical artisanal diamond production and supply chain security. Additionally, DDI’s land reclamation work in Sierra Leone is setting new standards for environmental remediation, creating new livelihoods in communities long subject to poverty and resource-based conflict.

RESOLVE was an early pioneer in the field of environmental conflict resolution, and is a co-creator of the CRAFT Code for artisanal mining, a voluntary open-source standard that is gaining traction in the artisanal mining sector. RESOLVE launched Salmon Gold in 2019 to put biodiversity-positive gold in supply chains for jewelry and technology companies.

This new partnership is designed to advance many of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals, scale up application of Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) due diligence principles and guidance for diamond and other mineral supply chains, strengthen Kimberley Process compliance, and help advance important climate and biodiversity commitments.

With the merger, the organizations’ goal is to increase the availability of responsibly mined minerals from artisanal sources. RESOLVE and DDI will continue to work with industry, government, and NGOs to ensure that sourcing and trade are free from conflict and human rights violations, and also that economic development and a path out of poverty will be supported and social and environmental standards are met.

A first priority will be harmonizing the wide scope of projects, standards, regulations, and market initiatives in the artisanal sectors. 

Ian Rowe, DDI’s current executive director, was appointed as the director of DDI@RESOLVE and has a leadership role in the transition.

Ian Smillie, a founder and chair of DDI who played a leading role in the founding of the Kimberley Process as well, is joining the RESOLVE Board of Advisors. He said, "The perils in the artisanal minerals sector are well known. Artisanal mining can damage the environment, and it is a vector for social disruption and disease. Most artisanal miners earn less than $2 a day. We launched DDI because we can do better. Together RESOLVE and DDI will strengthen our impact on diamonds and extend the program to other minerals."

Stephen D'Esposito, president and CEO of RESOLVE, added, "In a world defined by the COVID-19 pandemic, collaboration is the only means to tackle sustainability and health challenges. Together our priorities are reconciliation for communities affected by conflict diamonds and conflict minerals, restoration to heal the land and support new livelihoods, and responsible sourcing to ensure long term benefits for artisanal diamond miners and their families." 

Also joining the board of advisors is Stephane Fischler, vice chair of DDI and past president of the World Diamond Council. "The jewelry industry needs the essential work of DDI. This new partnership is timed to bring the industry and stakeholders to a shared vision of diamonds that support peace, livelihoods, and care for the environment," he said. 

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