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RESOLVE and Diamond Development Initiative (DDI) Join Forces

It is to better support responsibly sourced and artisanally mined diamonds and other minerals.

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(PRESS RELEASE) WASHINGTON — RESOLVE and the Diamond Development Initiative (DDI) have joined forces in a program merger to bolster both organizations’ capacity to support the responsible sourcing of artisanally mined diamonds, gold, cobalt, “the three Ts” (tin, tantalum, and tungsten), and other minerals.

The two non-profits will integrate their programs, including those on responsible mining practices and standards, post-mining land use, support for livelihoods, reclamation, and restoration. The merger is designed as an impact multiplier, bringing together DDI’s and RESOLVE’s more than fifty years of combined experience in conflict prevention and resolution, poverty reduction, biodiversity protection, supply chain due diligence, and ethical products.

Launched as a response to conflict diamonds, DDI is a leader in the transformation of the informal diamond mining sector in Africa to more formal, efficient, and environmentally responsible approaches. DDI created and applied the Maendeleo Diamond Standards, the first-ever set of standards for ethical artisanal diamond production and supply chain security. Additionally, DDI’s land reclamation work in Sierra Leone is setting new standards for environmental remediation, creating new livelihoods in communities long subject to poverty and resource-based conflict.

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RESOLVE is known as an early pioneer in the field of environmental conflict resolution and is a co-creator of the CRAFT Code for artisanal mining, a voluntary open-source standard that is gaining traction in the artisanal mining sector. RESOLVE launched Salmon Gold™ in 2019 to put biodiversity-positive gold in supply chains for jewelry and technology companies.

With this program merger, the organizations’ goal is to increase the availability of responsibly sourced minerals from artisanal origins. RESOLVE and DDI will continue to work with industry, government, and NGOs to realize the promise of diamonds and other minerals, that is: sourcing and trade will be free from conflict and human rights violations; economic development and a path out of poverty will be supported; social and environmental standards will be met.

Harmonizing the fractured landscape of projects, standards, regulations, and market initiatives will be a priority.

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RESOLVE has appointed Ian Rowe, DDI’s current executive director, as the director of DDI@RESOLVE. He is currently playing a leadership role in the transition.

Ian Smillie, a founder and chair of DDI, who is joining the RESOLVE Board of Advisors, said: “The perils in the artisanal minerals sector are well known. Artisanal mining can damage the environment, and it is a vector for social disruption and disease. Most artisanal miners earn less than $2 a day. We launched DDI because we can do better. Together RESOLVE and DDI will strengthen our impact on diamonds and extend the program to other minerals.”

Stephen D’Esposito, president and CEO of RESOLVE said: “In a world defined by the COVID-19 pandemic, collaboration is the only means to tackle sustainability and health challenges. Together our priorities are reconciliation for communities affected by conflict diamonds and conflict minerals, restoration to heal the land and support new livelihoods, and responsible sourcing to ensure long term benefits for artisanal diamond miners and their families.”

Stephane Fischler, vice chair of DDI and past president of the World Diamond Council, who is also joining the RESOLVE Board of Advisors, said: “The jewelry industry needs the essential work of DDI. This new partnership is timed to bring the industry and stakeholders to a shared vision of diamonds that support peace, livelihoods, and care for the environment.”

Jennifer Peyser, Director of RESOLVE’s Ethical Resource Program said: “With DDI@RESOLVE, a decade of work to transform informal diamond mining in Africa can be linked with the CRAFT Code and broader suite of RESOLVE’s programs and tools to support and scale-up responsible minerals sourcing, with governments, the jewelry and other industries, and civil society.”

This new partnership is designed to advance many of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals; scale-up application of Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) due diligence principles and guidance for diamond and other mineral supply chains; strengthen Kimberley Process compliance; and help advance important climate and biodiversity commitments.

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