Our main role is to inspire consumers to consider diamonds - Jean-Marc Lieberherr

With over 25 years of experience in a variety of leadership positions across many geographies, functions and businesses, Jean-Marc Lieberherr has more than 10 years’ experience as a diamond industry leader, which includes as a Board member of the World...


Training in diamond valuation is key for artisanal miners

Ian Rowe, the Executive Director of the Diamond Development Initiative (DDI) was appointed in September 2019, having joined DDI as Deputy Executive Director a year earlier. Ian managed field operations in Sierra Leone within this role and led...

02 december 2019

Kangalassi 2.0: Raising the living standards, creating new jobs

At the V Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) held in early September in Vladivostok, the Yakut company SAYBM signed a tripartite agreement with two agencies - the Far Eastern agency and the regional one - for attracting investments and providing export...

25 november 2019

We live in a new dimension of environmental responsibility carried by business

In mid-October, Moscow hosted the VIII Ecological Forum attended by representatives from the State, large industrial companies, scientific and public organizations. The forum delegates discussed the issues related to finding a balance between the socio-economic...

18 november 2019

De Beers’ GemFair delivering ‘positive impacts’ to ASM sector in Sierra Leone – David Johnson

GemFair, a pilot project developed by De Beers to create a secure and transparent route to market ethically sourced artisanal and small-scale mined (ASM) diamonds, is already delivering “important positive impacts” in Sierra Leone. Group head...

11 november 2019

WDC to continue to champion strengthening scope of Kimberley Process

22 november 2019
During the 2019 KP Plenary held from 18th to 22nd November 2019 in New Delhi, the government representatives failed to reach a consensus on a strengthened scope for the Kimberley Process (KP). However, the World Diamond Council (WDC) has reiterated its commitment to continuing to advocate for change, says a press release from WDC.
In the statement, WDC President Stephane Fischler said: “While the KPCS continues to fulfil an important function, the failure of the political process to achieve consensus was a missed opportunity to enhance the effectiveness of this foundation stone of integrity in the diamond business. The KPCS has been a critical element in maintaining peace in producing countries through increased traceability of rough diamond trade, and we must redouble our efforts to strengthen its impact. About 95 per cent of the rough diamonds produced by value are mined by a handful of large industrialized mining companies, almost all of which have implemented compliance systems that go beyond the scope of the KPCS. These all require observance of the WDC’s System of Warranties (SoW), which was expanded in 2018."

 Image credit: World Diamond Council

As recognized in the KP core document, the SoW is designed to facilitate full traceability of diamond transactions by government authorities. This is achieved by requiring all B2B sellers of rough diamonds, polished diamonds and jewellery containing diamonds to include a statement on the invoice or memo document that the goods being sold comply with the KPCS. Importantly, the updated SoW, which also was endorsed by this session of the KP, moves significantly beyond the KPCS, by including a commitment by companies to adhere to WDC Guidelines, which expressly reference international conventions relating to human and labour rights, anti-corruption and anti-money laundering (AML).
During the meeting in New Delhi, following a proposal by the US delegation, the KP Plenary agreed to restructure the operational framework system created for the Central African Republic, while maintaining the current strict monitoring of exports.
 “We support the objectives of this change in policy,” said Fischler, “which is to encourage an increase in legal exports from CAR, as well as improve the efficiency of the system. As this process will shift some of the burdens of verifying the provenance of the goods to the importers in the trading centres, we will soon be issuing guidance in this respect for the industry.”
The WDC expressed its support for new KP-related community development projects reported on during the Plenary Meeting. It noted that they are excellent examples of the organization’s capacity to expand beyond its original mandate as mainly a preventative mechanism, to also being a facilitator of reconstruction and renewal in countries that were or still are afflicted by conflict.
 One such project is the EU and German-funded “Mano River Union (MRU),” which supports KPCS implementation in Cote d'Ivoire, Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, preventing cross-border smuggling as well as capacity building in artisanal mining communities. The same regional approach is currently being considered for countries in Central Africa. Another is USAID’s "Artisanal Mining and Property Rights (AMPR)" project, which addresses development challenges in the ASM sector in the Central African Republic while improving compliance with KPCS requirements.
Fischler added: “These innovative national or regional programs complement a growing number of grass-roots capacity-building being carried out by industry, including WDC member companies and organizations. The KP should not only be judged by what it prevents, but also by what it can facilitate. Peace-making and nation-building are both parts of its legacy, and it must use all avenues at its disposal to achieve these goals.”

Aruna Gaitonde, Editor in Chief of the Asian Bureau, Rough & Polished