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Cleaning up Gold: What is needed next after Dodd Frank

In September, a global coalition of NGOs amplified their calls for the European Union to implement binding requirements on EU-based companies to publically report on their efforts to ensure conflict minerals from the Great Lakes region of Africa do not enter their supply chains.

Read more: Cleaning up Gold: What is needed next after Dodd Frank

Understanding Traceability vs. Certification

A key weakness in a number of recent assessments of progress on certification of conflict minerals in the Great Lakes Region is confusion regarding the concepts of certification and traceability. Certification, in its most broad sense, is about creating the conditions for long-term reform of the governance of mineral sectors. Traceability, while critical, is one small part of this bigger picture. Traceability refers to the use of documented and recorded identification to follow commodities or goods as they move through the supply chain. Ongoing confusion regarding these two concepts has not been helpful, and has more often than not muddied analysis of the progress and impact of efforts in the region.

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Transparency Key to Making Mineral Certification Work

A recently published Open Letter from Congolese and international academic and civil society leaders rightly focussed attention on the difficulties facing artisanal mining communities in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. These communities struggle with the presence of armed groups and public security forces, the governance demands of international actors, and the harsh realities of trying to market the minerals they scratch out from the earth.

Read more: Transparency Key to Making Mineral Certification Work

Voluntary Transparency Just Doesn't Cut It

When you think about transparency day in and day out, as I do, it is easy to get focused on the nitty gritty – why we need project and country level disclosure of information, what comprises a good definition of ‘project’ and so on and so forth[1] – and forget about the big picture.

But transparency is not some small thing, some side project; it is at the heart of a troubling development problem: the resource curse. Natural resource development is often accompanied by promises of job creation, new opportunities for local businesses, and increased funds for cash strapped government coffers.  Unfortunately, in too many cases, these are empty promises.

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Transparency's Trending

The past few weeks of the global transparency campaign have seen a spotlight placed on Canada.

On May 9th, during her pre-recorded video keynote address at the North South Institute’s conference Governing Natural Resources for Africa’s Development, Nigerian Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala urged Canada to be a leader in advancing global transparency in the extractive sectors by implementing mandatory disclosure requirements for Canadian extractive companies.

Read more: Transparency's Trending

The Fight Against Artisanal Gold Smuggling in Eastern DR Congo

Victor Kangela, PAC Project Coordinator, Kisangani, DRC

For many years, high value minerals have been used by armed groups in the DRC and neighboring countries as sources of funding. Gold is one of the four most sought-after minerals in the DRC and attracts greed and conflict. The lack of a monitoring system for the production and trade of the minerals in eastern DRCongo, leads to transactions via illegal comptoirs and clandestine export to neighboring countries. 

Read more: The Fight Against Artisanal Gold Smuggling in Eastern DR Congo