sharing in governance of extractive industries
On April 29th, the United Nations (UN) lifted the trade embargo on diamonds from Cote d’Ivoire, marking a significant step in the country’s re-integration with the global economy. The lifting of the embargo, which had been in place since 2005, comes on the heels of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme’s (KPCS) recognition during its annual plenary session in November of 2013 that Cote d’Ivoire had fulfilled relevant KPCS requirements while under the UN embargo.
While the lifting of the UN embargo is a crucial step, the Ivorian government has plenty of work ahead of it, before it can reestablish legal production and trade in diamonds. National actors’ expectations are high, with many hoping to benefit from the estimated $23-25 million USD that will be added to the country’s annual export revenues [through diamond trade]. It is critical to manage these expectations, and to put in place proper procedures to ensure the diamond sector is managed responsibly and in accordance with KP requirements. Furthermore, the rights of artisanal diamond miners and customary land owners must be protected as other actors try to “stake a claim” in the sector. The USAID Property Rights and Artisanal Diamond Development (PRADD) project, co-funded by the European Union (EU) in Cote d’Ivoire, will work to clarify and strengthen surface and sub-surface rights, increase miner capacity and productivity, diversify livelihoods in mining communities, promote environmental rehabilitation, and provide further support to the government in policy design and implementation.
It is worth noting that Cote d’Ivoire would not have been able to achieve compliance with the KP earlier this year without the support of the donor community, which provided government capacity building programs, assisted in the development of a mine-to-export system of internal controls, registered and licensed artisanal miners, and created a transition strategy between KP compliance and the lifting of the UN embargo. Donor support to the extractive sector generally, and artisanal mining specifically, is relatively limited. It is therefore critical that funding agencies collaborate to ensure more efficient and effective programs. The unique collaboration between the United States and the EU under the PRADD program in Cote d’Ivoire could serve as model for technical assistance within the KP moving forward, as it allows the limited donor resources available for supporting the KP to be better coordinated and focused.
While the KP is an effective mechanism for ensuring that rough diamonds are not used to finance rebel groups seeking to undermine legitimate governments, KPCS member states often require technical assistance in order to meet KP reporting requirements. Unfortunately there is no clear mechanism within the KP to assist diamond producing countries in implementing and revising traceability systems and processes, establishing effective customs and border control units, training artisanal miners in their KP obligations, etc. Various donor initiatives have worked on an ad hoc basis to assist KP member states in this regard. However, these initiatives raise the question of how the KP itself might better support member states in ensuring compliance, particularly in the diamond industry’s least regulated and most difficult to govern sector: artisanal mining.
The Washington Declaration, adopted in 2012 by the KPCS, helps integrate development objectives into Kimberley Process implementation and identifies ways to advance and deepen development of the artisanal mining sector. The Washington Declaration’s Diagnostic Framework, spearheaded by USAID, serves as an analytical tool to help identify legal and institutional gaps in achieving positive development outcomes in the artisanal mining sector, as well as common indicators through which governments can measure progress. Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea and other countries within the Mano River Union are looking to utilize this tool to guide reforms in their mining sectors. The Washington Declaration Diagnostic Framework also serves as a useful gauge of where KP countries might most require assistance from the donor community.
In Cote d’Ivoire, the PRADD program utilized the Washington Declaration Diagnostic Framework as part of its initial in-depth assessment of the country’s legal and regulatory environment, supply chains and institutional governance structures, in order to inform future reforms and monitor transparency of the sector. The assessment culminated in a five-year work plan for the PRADD program in Cote d’Ivoire.
Add a Comment