Ethics: it's "More than a PR issue!" The Diamond Development Initiative (DDI), a non-profit working to improve the lives and working conditions of artisanal and small-scale miners in Africa, issued a response to the recent decision by the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on synthetic diamonds and how it could impact the market for artisanally-mined diamonds.
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is currently working to improve the working conditions for artisanal miners in conformity with traceability standards proposed by the Diamond Development Initiative (DDI), according to the World Diamond Council (WDC). In the interest of fostering such improvements, Stephane Fischler, acting president of the World Diamond Council (WDC), and Marie-Chantal Kaninda, executive director of the WDC, traveled last week to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to meet with key stakeholders involved in the Kimberley Process (KP).
In what can only be described as a brilliant initiative, De Beers Group today announced it is preparing to pilot a program called GemFair to create a secure and transparent route to market for ethically-sourced artisanal and small-scale mined (ASM) diamonds. GemFair will use dedicated technology to record ASM production at mine sites that meet demonstrable ethical standards, with the aim of purchasing rough diamonds from approved locations while helping improve working conditions and livelihoods for those working in the sector.
For 10 years, the Diamond Development Initiative (DDI) has been working to transform artisanal diamond mining into an economically viable, socially and environmentally responsible activity that will benefit miners, their communities and their governments, and consequently, the diamond and jewelry industry, the organization writes in a press release on the occasion of its ten-year anniversary.
“We want to change the narrative surrounding the diamond industry,” says Diamond Empowerment Fund executive director Nancy Orem Lyman.
The Diamond Development Initiative (DDI) has undertaken a sensitization initiative for border communities in the Mano River Union (MRU) region - which comprises the countries of Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Côte d'Ivoire - to raise awareness of the Kimberley Process requirements and strengthen local capacity to monitor the flow of diamonds.
In the midst of a five-day Belgian State visit to India, the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) - umbrella organization for the Antwerp diamond industry - joined hands with its Indian counterpart, the Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), to host a roundtable discussion today (Nov. 9) in Mumbai concerning the contributions of the diamond industry to social and economic development.
In 2015, CAP Conseil, a sustainable development consultancy based in Belgium, presented the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) an idea for a fully ethical and traceable diamond jewelry project from small-scale origin. Two years later, the first MY FAIR DIAMOND collection has become a reality.
The Diamond Development Initiative, which works to formalize the Artisanal and Small-scale mining (ASM) sector and improve the lives and working conditions of artisanal and small-scale miners, their families and communities, honored 110 children from remote mining communities in the Democratic Republic of Congo that attended DDI's mobile schooling program. They have completed their remedial primary education program, passed their state exams, and are now participating in their local graduation ceremony. The goal of the mobile schooling program is to provide access to remedial education to c
On Monday June 12, the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) welcomed eight participants for a two-week course in rough diamond valuation: the "KP Technical Assistance Valuation Program". The course originates from the commitment of the Diamond Development Initiative (DDI), which coordinates requests for Technical Assistance on behalf of the Administrative Support Mechanism (ASM) in the framework of the KP. The participants work for KP authorities in four countries: Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia.
Continuing the published opinions on whether or not the Kimberley Process (KP) is "bullshit" - in the words of Martin Rapaport - JCK's Rob Bates invited Ian Smillie, chaair of the Diamond Development Initiative, president of the Canadian Association for the Study of International Development and formerly one of the key architects of the Kimberley Process, to respond to Brad Brooks-Rubin's response to Rapaport's original
The Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) was acknowledged for their grant to the Diamond Development Initiative (DDI), an initiative dedicated to improving the social and economic conditions of artisanal, small-scale miners and their families.
“AWDC has been a longstanding and reliable partner,” says Dorothée Gizenga, Executive Director of DDI. “Their support enables DDI to continue its efforts to formalize the artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) sector in ways that benefit miners, their communities and local economies.”
Dorothée Gizenga, international development expert and human rights advocate, has been appointed to the Order of Ontario, the province’s highest honor. "She is the founding executive director of the Diamond Development Initiative (DDI) and has dedicated her work to international development and the eradication of blood diamonds," reads the announcement.
The Diamond Development Initiative (DDI) yesterday announced that it has received a $30,000 grant from the Diamond Empowerment Fund (DEF) to support the second year of programming at the mobile school in the mining village of Kankala, of the Kasai Occidental province, in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The Diamond Empowerment Mobile school was one of the first two in DDI’s “Sending Schools to Kids” remedial education program – offering children the opportunity to leave the mines and go back to school, w
The Diamond Development Initiative (DDI), an organization dedicated to improving the working conditions and lives of artisanal diamond miners, is announcing the launch of the Maendeleo Diamond Standards (MDS), the organization anounced today in a press release. Maendeleo, the Swahili word for development and progress, is a fitting designation for standards that will ensure respect for human rights, for the environment and for community well-being, according to Dorothée Gizenga, Executive Director.
Martin Rapaport has written an in-depth diatribe rejecting the claims of sythetic diamand producers that their product is more ethical than naturally mined diamonds, exposing the value proposition of synthetic diamonds as a ruse and calling natural diamond miners to join together to aggressively market and natural diamonds and attack synthetics. It is nothing less than a call to arms for the natural diamond industry, and he goes so far as to call the way synthetic diamonds are marketed as "evil".
From a press release: The Diamond Development Initiative (DDI) is pleased to announce a three-year contribution from the Anglo American Group Foundation in support of DDI’s efforts to promote responsible sourcing and improve the lives of thousands of artisanal diamond miners and their families in Africa. Funding from Anglo American enables DDI to carry out its principle functions, including the registration of artisanal miners, the implementation of the Development Diamond StandardsTM at mining sites and development support to communities in need, such as clean water and education.
Photographer Lynsey Addario for Time Magazine took an inside look at the Democratic Republic of Congo's diamond mines. Conditions are harsh and poverty is rampant. The article notes that the Diamond Development Initiative (DDI), along with diamond jewelry retailer Brilliant Earth, has set up a pilot program for young students at risk of sacrificing their education to work in the mines. Right now there are only two Brilliant Mobile Schools, as they are called, in Tshikapa, and demand is high. DDI hopes to build more, if they can raise more funds.
Artisanal diamond mining communities identified their top needs to the Diamond Development Initiative. Joining forces with the Government of Sierra Leone (Ministry of Water Resources) and the Kono District Council, DDI contracted local company IMK Construction to build wells with the permission of the Chiefdoms.
The Diamond Development Initiative will publically receive a certificate at the JCK Las Vegas shows recognizing the grant made by the JCK Industry Fund to support DDI’s work on engaging with and educating the jewelry industry.
The Diamond Development Initiative’s Board of Directors welcomed Nerys John as its newest member during its 2015 AGM. Nerys is Community Relations Manager for the De Beers Group of Companies, has a longstanding interest in artisanal mining, and participated in DDI’s founding meeting, held in Accra in 2005. She is replacing Andy Bone, who is leaving De Beers after 38 years.
In December 2014, DDI launched its Ebola Response Project in Sierra Leone’s Kono District. Focusing on the specific context of artisanal mining communities, DDI is adopting a 3-S approach: Sensitization, Support and Safeguards. Sierra Leone experienced the highest amount of Ebola cases worldwide, especially the Kono mining district was hit hard
Brilliant Earth and the Diamond Development Initiative are joining forces to bring education to children in mining communities. Brilliant Earth is the first sponsor of one of eight planned mobile schools in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The “Brilliant Mobile School” will welcome 25 students from the artisanal mining communities surrounding the Lungundi mine in the Kasai West Province.
AWDC and DDI announced that the AWDC has made an important contribution to the Diamond Development Initiative. This year’s grant will be the third donation from the Centre in support of DDI’s work in bringing development to artisanal mining communities.