For Immediate Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KP), which was established to end the trafficking of “conflict diamonds,” adopted the Washington Declaration that more formally incorporates development objectives into KP implementation.
The text was developed by the KP Working Group on Artisanal and Alluvial Production, with support from USAID, the Diamond Development Initiative, and others, and brought to the floor for discussion at the KP Plenary meetings in Washington this week. Included in the declaration are several policy goals that have been spearheaded under USAID’s Property Rights and Artisanal Diamond Development (PRADD) program.
Significantly, PRADD has been instrumental in helping the KP recognize the role of economic development in bringing rough diamonds into legitimate chains of custody, and consequently better addressing the challenges of conflict diamonds.
“This is a noteworthy achievement,” says Dr. Gregory Myers, Chief of the Land Tenure and Property Rights Division at USAID. “The members of the KP should be congratulated in addressing what has historically been a very complex problem affecting many of the world’s poorest communities across Africa.”
USAID established the PRADD program in 2007 in recognition of the critical role resource governance plays in the ASM sector. Clarification and strengthening of property rights for artisanal miners is at the core of the program, but, is complemented by a number of activities including establishment of government traceability systems to track diamonds from the point of extraction to point of export; reform of land and mining laws and regulations; environmental rehabilitation through the introduction of complementary livelihoods; and organizational capacity building of artisanal miners. Many of these same initiatives are included in the Washington Declaration and will now serve as guidance for KP participant governments, NGOs and donor organizations seeking to support implementation of the KP.
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Last updated: September 30, 2014