Press Release: A new report that outlines how to develop a regional certification mechanism for tracking high value and conflict prone minerals in Africa’s Great Lakes region was launched today by Partnership Africa Canada (PAC).
“Taming the Resource Curse: Implementing the ICGLR Certification Mechanism for Conflict-prone Minerals” analyses the strengths and weaknesses of existing certification mechanisms, especially the Kimberley Process, and applies lessons learned to four minerals- gold, coltan, tungsten and tin- in the context of Africa’s Great Lakes region.
The report’s findings and recommendations form the basis of the Mineral Tracking and Certification System that is currently in the development stage by the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), based in Bujumbura, Burundi. The report is a joint publication of the ICGLR, the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs and Partnership Africa Canada.
“This report aims to give the ICGLR the head-start it needs to avoid many of the pitfalls and limitations that have come to undermine the efficacy and legitimacy of the Kimberley Process,” says Joanne Lebert, director of PAC’s Great Lakes Program.
The report, authored by Shawn Blore and Ian Smillie, promotes key principles that will make the new certification mechanism stronger than existing regulatory schemes. Key features include the introduction of mandatory, regular, and independent third party audits of all participants in the mineral supply chain and a sophisticated database to track mineral flows, from mine site to export, and beyond.
“The scheme will raise the bar considerably for all participants in the mineral supply chain, particularly those operating in the Democratic Republic of the Congo,” said lead author Blore. He also noted that the scheme has been designed to be flexible and adaptable as certification standards and criminality changes-a key weakness of the Kimberley Process.
The report is available online at: http://tinyurl.com/67rmhmn