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March 28, 2018

Diamonds Help

Diamonds Help the World Economy

How do Diamonds Help the world economy? Programs like the Updated Kimberley Process, the Diamond Empowerment Fund and the Responsible Jewellery Council help strengthen Sustainable Development Goals and ties between corporations and communities.

Diamonds Help

Diamonds Help sustain the communities around them.

The Updated Kimberley Process, the Diamond Empowerment Fund, and the Responsible Jewellery Council

It is through these programs that diamonds help the world.  For example, consider the story of Srk diamonds in India. Dr. S.P. Shrivastav, is the head of the hospital’s oncology unit.  He explains that this facility is making treatments available to tens of thousands of people.  Especially to those who previously didn’t have access, he says.  While in front of a new hospital in Surat, India. Govindbhai Dholokia is prideful when he explains that the list of donors he holds, made this facility a reality.

He explains, “Everyone here works with their hearts,” says Dholokia, chairman of diamond manufacturer SRK Exports and co-founder of the hospital. “This project represents the heart of the diamond industry.” Additionally, it was not until this hospital’s opening that the city of Surat offered to care for patients in need of specialized care.

Diamond Empowerment Fund supports the Diamond Empowerment Fund.

The World Economy and how Diamonds Help

It is because of the generosity and prosperity of the industry that diamond help build so many projects for those in need.  For example, Surat’s diamond industry leads in the manufacturing sector.  Additionally, they account for around 80% to 90% of global diamond polished production.  Therefore, one could conclude that diamonds help fund and contributed most of the $75 million it took to build and set up the facility.  One foreign donor explains that “this really is a testament to the heart of the Surat diamond community, I don’t think the diamond industry markets its good deeds enough.”

Updated Kimberley Process supports the Updated Kimberley Process.

Push the Positive that Diamonds Help

It is important that the diamond industry push that positive that diamonds help create jobs and opportunities. For example, it would be important to highlight the positive impact the diamond industry has on its communities, the economy, and potential opportunities.  Furthermore, it should be noted that South African president Nelson Mandela urged rap mogul Russell Simmons to adopt this strategy just over a decade ago. Nelson urged Simmons to note that diamonds help communities by providing jobs and funding for projects while he was contemplating a jewelry line of his own.  Simmons went so far as to embark on a fact-finding mission to understand how diamonds help the communities it employs.  Thus this could benefit the people of southern Africa.

Dispelling the Negative Narrative

The release of the 2006 movie “Blood Diamond” did considerable damage to the industry.  The movie highlights the industry’s role in the in Sierra Leone’s civil war.  However, after Simmons toured the mining and manufacturing facilities in South Africa and Botswana he the had to confirm that the diamond industry helped fund and facilitate hospitals and infrastructure.  Thereby concluding that diamonds help support those communities, Simmons recognized the opportunity that lay ahead.  Furthermore, Simmons went so far as to set up the Diamond Empowerment Fund (DEF).  Thereby giving back to youth in the communities where the diamond industry operates.

Diamonds Help Change the Narrative 

The Diamond Empowerment Fund is now operating in its 10th year.  Furthermore, the Diamond Empowerment Fund (also known as the DEF) has given countless amounts of funding to student grants.  As well as to organizations that facilitate access to better education as well as vocational training and skill-building.  Diamonds help with this idea in that the industry helps facilitate the idea that students should come back and contribute to the economic development of their home countries.  Thus explains DEF executive director Nancy Orem Lyman.

For example, the Diamond Empowerment Fund helps fund the Johannesburg-based African Leadership Academy, the Botswana Top Achievers program, and Veerayatan, a nonprofit providing educational, social and medical services in India. The DEF has also in the past supported the Diamond Development Initiative (DDI) in in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).  However, has since ceased operations there due to civil war.


Diamond Empowerment Fund

The Diamond Empowerment Fund does rely on donations from companies throughout the diamond pipeline.  Organizations director Orem Lyman explains that they are not only about financial support.   Orem maintains that “we want to change the narrative surrounding the diamond industry.” Furthermore, she maintains that “people need to know about the good that diamonds do, and that miners, manufacturers, and jewelers are contributing to uplift those less fortunate.”  The bottom line is that diamonds help the world population.  For example, that even includes the work jewelers are doing in their own communities. Additionally, the Diamond Empowerment Fund created  “Diamonds Do Good” site, which provides a platform where diamond industry companies can tell share stories about the positive impact diamonds are having on community surroundings.

Diamonds Help and it Makes Sense

Why are diamond industry leaders helping make the global community better?  That is because, for many of these dealers, these specialized projects are joint ventures between the communities they surround. And the consumers demand for it.  For example, in Dubai during the Dubai Diamond Conference, Ernie Blom, the president of the World Federation of Diamond Bourses mentions that “Consumers are looking for products that are made responsibly and which provide a fair livelihood for the people who are mining and producing these items “we must continue to show that these are our aims as well.”

Additionally, employees representing mining giants De Beers and retailer Signet Jewelers maintain that consumer interest is a core reason for corporate responsibility to the communities they surround.  For example, programs can include both community support and efforts to maintain the integrity of the company’s products.  And, according to panelists at the conference.

The Updated Kimberley Process is a Success

Acting president of the World Diamond Council Stéphane Fischler explains that the industry had come a long way since the 2003 establishment of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme. The Kimberley Process verifies that a country’s rough-diamond production is conflict-free.  Additionally, he explains that many outsiders are still skeptical about the industry’s efforts to increase transparency.  The aim is being able to meet or supersede the ethical standards consumers are seeking.  For example,  Fischler, whose organization represents the diamond industry at the Kimberley Process acknowledges the need to update the certification scheme.  And furthermore,  update the Kimberley Process by reviewing and assessing whether it is fulfilling its core mission.

The Updated Kimberley Process

Part of the discussion is the Updated Kimberley Process.  This project is designed to broaden the scope of its reach and authority.  For example, one part of the updated Kimberley Process aims to broaden the scheme’s narrow definition of conflict diamonds.  Specifically, to include violence related to diamond miners and their communities. For example, Fischler explains that the DDI, which is now in its 10th year of operations has a new updated Kimberley Process program in place.

Help and the Updated Kimberley Process

With trends suggesting consumers want an updated Kimberley Process that will encourage responsible and violence-free mining in the artisanal sector.  Furthermore, at the conference, Fischler called the new updated Kimberley Process “the best story we have today.” Thereby highlighting the industry’s commitment to integrity and global sustainability goals.  Additionally, he adds that the updated Kimberley Process contributes by showing a unified effort was necessary to ensure the continued implementation of the scheme.  Furthermore, the updated Kimberley Process will comply with the WDC’s system that warranties self-regulation standards.  Thereby ensuring its contribution to overall Sustainable Development Goals.

Sustainable Development Goals and the Updated Kimberley Process

Among other things, the new updated Kimberley Process will require diamond suppliers to pass on a warranty statement.  For example, each time a diamond changes hands.  This includes jewelry manufacturers.  Thereby assuring the next buyer that the goods have gone through the updated Kimberley Process system.  Thus contributing to sustainable development goals.  Additionally, the WDC is also reviewing the system of warranties by exploring the ways to highlight awareness and introduce a stronger element of due diligence.

The Responsible Jewellery Council and Sustainable Development Goals

Another important organization seeking to enhance the integrity of the trade is the Responsible Jewellery Council.  The Responsible Jewellery Council has over 1,000 members. These companies have made a commitment to their strict standards.  For example, the Responsible Jewellery Council code of practices for diamonds, gold, and platinum-group metals are certified conflict-free.  Additionally, the code addresses human rights, labor rights, environmental impact, mining practices, and product disclosure.  That, amongst other issues the Responsible Jewellery Council views pertinent.

Responsible Jewellery Council supports the efforts of the Responsible Jewellery Council.

Beyond the Responsible Jewellery Council and Sustainable Development Goals

There has been a steady pressure industry-wide for companies to align with the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  The Responsible Jewellery Council had strong support for the sustainable development goals it set forth at the Dubai Diamond Conference.  And again, the topic of sustainable development goals were part of the focus at the Diamond Conference.  Of which De Beers was the sponsor in Gaborone during October.  De Beers Group encouraged enterprises to use the Sustainable Development Goals as a guide for their social responsibility agendas.  As did representatives from the Responsible Jewellery Council.

Furthermore, the diamond industry has the potential to contribute to the sustainable development goals.  A De Beers representative explains that in a report earlier this year. “The ongoing success of diamond companies will depend on accountability across the diamond value chain regarding contributions to sustainable development goals.”

Sustainable Development Goals

Sustainable Development Goals are a commitment to the best environmental practices.


Diamonds Help the Updated Kimberley Process

The concept of best practice principles was introduced by De Beers’.  This helps De Beers’ determine whether its projects and those of its clients.  Additionally, they must comply with the updated Kimberley Process, ethical business standards and ensuring diamonds help the communities around them.  The diamond empowerment fund, the Responsible Jewellery Council, and the Sustainable Development Goals have been implemented.  And this was done by De Beers’ and its associates.  However, it should be noted many goals have been put forth to ensure diamonds help their surrounding communities.   For example, a noteworthy focus during the year of 2017 has been gender equality.

Diamond Empowerment Fund and

Katie Ferguson, the company’s head of social impact explains.  Furthermore, the company has partnered with UN Women.  Thereby, working to provide opportunities for women in both its own organization and the communities where it controls. Furthermore, environmental issues are also an important focus. With De Beers aiming to achieve carbon-free mining within five to 10 years.

The WFDB’s Blom mentions that unfortunately many of these efforts tend to go unnoticed.  For example, one problem is exposure to these good deeds.  He mentions, “we just need to find a way to get this information out to consumers,” he says.  Like his counterpart, DEF’s Orem-Lyman agrees.  Furthermore adding that the larger enterprises are not the only ones engaged in such programs.  Also that,  “the industry is predominantly made up of family-run businesses, and these are families that give back. People don’t know about it, but doing good is part of the industry’s DNA.”

New Diamond News

The diamond miner Alrosa is now a partner with in a joint venture with national miner Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC).  Their intention is to explore new diamond projects in the country.

The new diamond venture between the two companies will provide Alrosa with a 70% stake in any new greenfield deposits.  Furthermore, it will encompass geological exploration, diamond mining and independent sales of rough stones to external markets.  Said the Russian diamond miner.

Updated Diamond News

Alrosa CEO Vladamir Marchenko explains that “we are committed to productive work in the exploration of new, promising areas and subsequent diamond mining.” Moreover, he explains that “our specialists have been working in Zimbabwe for more than three months now, and the national authorities have been of great support to them. We have chosen various projects for the joint venture, and part of [those] will be launched this autumn.”

Alrosa and Zimbabwe

In new diamond news Alrosa primarily considering areas located in the Chimanimani region of Zimbabwe. Marchenko noted, stressing that Alrosa did not plan any operations in Marange.  Furthermore, despite reports that indicate it was considering the move. Zimbabwe’s Marange fields were a source of contention.

This after state forces killed almost 200 citizens in 2008.  This was in an effort to clamp down on informal mining.  Thus, resulting in the country’s removal from the Kimberley Process (KP). The KP reinstated Zimbabwe in 2011, however, US sanctions against Marange diamonds remain intact.

Alrosa and Diamond News

“Alrosa only explores and considers the feasibility [in] other parts of the country,” Marchenko said.  Adding that “the company has never, and under no circumstances, considered, and won’t consider, the possibility of entering the Marange region.”  Aldo, in December, Alrosa established Alrosa Zimbabwe Limited.  This offshoot will be an affiliate company that will oversee all projects in the country.

Diamond News

Alrosa is a diamond miner.

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