Tucson Panel Report – Friends of DDI

Patricia SyvrudPatricia Syvrud founder and president of Joia Consulting, LLC, was also in Tucson heading up program development for the Friends of The Diamond Development Initiative (DDI).

She provided the chapter members with an introduction to Artisanal Mining and Friends of DDI.

Artisanal Mining is small-scale mining involving the extraction of minerals with the simplest of tools, on a subsistence level.  More than a million African artisanal diamond diggers and their families live and work in absolute poverty, outside the formal economy, in countries struggling to recover from the ravages of war.

DDI aims to replicate the success of the Kimberley Process, in the cause to eliminate conflict diamonds. Where Kimberley is a regulatory system, DDI will be a comprehensive, long-term partnership for development.

DDI promotes environmentally sustainable mining practices and seeks to rehabilitate exhausted diamond fields.

DDI is piloting a system to register artisanal diamond miners and track their production up to the point of export. The system meets KPCS standards.

DDI is field testing an ethical certification system for diamonds that originate from artisanal mining areas. The overarching objective is to develop a system that actually works in the vastly informal context of artisanal diamond mining; can be independently verified; and results in meaningful benefits for artisanal miners as well as consumers.

Visit the project website at: http://www.ddidrc.org/eng/index.php

The Friends of DDI program will allow jewelry retailers, designers, manufacturers, and suppliers to support DDI’s work on the ground in mining communities, and demonstrate to their customers that the industry is making a positive impact on the lives of the people who mine diamonds by artisanal methods.

To learn more and get involved visit http://www.ddiglobal.org/pages/friends-of-ddii.php

Summary by Charles Marts

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