Responsible practices was the focus of attention at CIBJO, the World Jewellery Confederation, conference, held in Cape Town, South Africa.
Cecilia Gardner of the Jewelers Vigilance Committee discussed the importance of following existing laws and regulations in all CIBJO member countries, including those covering the Kimberley Process and anti-money laundering.
Large diamond, gold and platinum mining companies detailed their organizations’ extensive commitments to helping the local population, through longstanding internal programs as well as membership in the Council for Responsible Jewellery Practices.
Wilson Mutagwaba of the Mwadui Community Development Partnership, Dar-es-Salaaam, Tanzania, spoke about a pilot project there to study the artisanal and small-scale diamond mining sector, aligned with the Diamond Development Initiative.
Colored gemstone manufacturer Eric Braunwart, Vancouver, Wash., spoke about three fair trade initiatives his company has started in Mexico, Africa, and Australia. ICA ambassador Rui Galopim de Carvalho spoke of ICA members’ commitment to sustainable practices in the coloured gem supply chain.
Several other speakers addressed lab practices, including Don Palmieri, GCAL, New York, who spoke about his lab’s enhanced guarantees; and Tom Cushman of the Institute Gemmologie de Madagascar, who spoke about other artisanal and small-scale colored gemstone initiatives he oversees in Madagascar, as well as a new ethical gold mining initiative there.
Jewelry retailers spoke about their commitment to source their products ethically.
Michael Rae, chief executive officer of the Council for Responsible Jewellery Practices, updated the CIBJO delegates about the progress his 71-member group is making towards the implementation of its Responsible Practices Framework, with third party monitoring due to begin in January 2008.