RESOLVE and the World Economic Forum publish White Paper on Voluntary Responsible Mining Initiatives

Mar 9, 2016

On behalf of RESOLVE and the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on the Future of Mining and Metals, it is our pleasure to share “Voluntary Responsible Mining Initiatives: A Review,” our white paper on voluntary responsible mining initiatives. The white paper is informed by a survey with over 100 respondents on perceptions regarding current initiatives and future directions. The paper was presented last weekend at the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) conference in Toronto, where session participants discussed the survey findings and key conclusions, as well as potential next steps.

The white paper will be used to help stakeholders, ranging from upstream miners to retailers and manufacturers, to inform decisions about where to focus and what to prioritize as they seek to de-risk supply chains and promote responsible sourcing. We invite you to circulate this paper among your networks.

Posted in Blog | Comments Off

U.S. Wildlife Trafficking Alliance Announces Major Corporate Commitments to Combat Wildlife Trafficking

Mar 3, 2016

Bringing together unlikely partners to tackle complex global issues like wildlife trafficking, especially when the issues seem far removed from the products we use, is a major challenge.  But leaders in transport, e-commerce, fashion and jewelry, and philanthropy all have a role to play to close down markets to illegal products.

As part of the Administration’s National Strategy for Combating Wildlife Trafficking to stop the illegal trade of wildlife into the United States, President Obama announced the formation of the U.S. Wildlife Trafficking Alliance (USWTA) on July 31, 2015. RESOLVE played a catalytic role in building the USWTA partnership.

Today, sixteen leading companies, many building on previous efforts, announced jointly that they will not support illegal wildlife trade and will share best practices, communicate with their consumers about the widespread problem of wildlife trafficking in the U.S., and take steps to ensure their supply chains are free from illegal wildlife products.  RESOLVE commends them for their leadership.

Working Together to Shut Down the Illegal Wildlife Trade

RESOLVE is honored to be working with USWTA leaders including Chair and former Deputy Secretary of the Interior David Hayes, Michael Kowalski, Chair of the Board at Tiffany & Co. and Dave Stewart, Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Vulcan Inc., among others, with USWTA to reduce consumer demand for wildlife products and mobilize companies to adopt best practices to ensure that their goods and services are not being utilized by illegal wildlife traffickers.

Hayes, who is also a former RESOLVE Board Member, captured the purpose of this partnership:  “The Alliance is honored to partner with leading companies, conservation organizations, and the U.S. government to educate U.S. consumers and shut down U.S. demand for illegal wildlife products. By putting our wallets in line with our values we can work together to protect these treasured species for the benefit of our planet, our security, and future generations.”


Wildlife Trafficking Facts

Wildlife trafficking, which is fueled by the illegal killing of hundreds of thousands of animals, is a multi-billion dollar criminal industry. Animals are killed to meet consumer demand for jewelry, clothing, and medicine, carvings, souvenirs, and art or other household decorations made from tusks, horns, fur, and skins.  Money from the illegal wildlife trade funds has been linked to terrorist organizations, drug lords, gangs, and corrupt governments—all at the expense of wild animals, the environment, and our national security.

RESOLVE’s Biodiversity and Wildlife Solutions program works to conserve wildlife and wild places by applying cutting-edge data and technology from sectors as broad as defense, communications, surveillance, and medicine to provide solutions to wildlife poaching and human-wildlife conflict.

The Role of USWTA

The USWTA is a voluntary coalition of non-profit organizations, companies, foundations and media interests that work closely with the U.S. Government to reduce the purchase and sale of illegal wildlife products in the United States, a major consumer of illegally trafficked animal products.

The USWTA will help build consumer awareness of the impact of buying wildlife-related products—especially those from iconic, high-value species such as tigers, elephants, and rhinos—and the role played by illegal traffickers in funding global corruption and terrorism.

USWTA partners have committed to help educate customers and send a message to illegal wildlife distributors that their products are not welcome here. Business partners are also committing to ensure their supply chains are free of illegally-trafficked products.

The effort builds from the good work that many of these companies are already undertaking in their supply chains.  USWTA will help share these best practices and support further innovation, but we need more companies to lead by example.  USWTA aims to expand this initial partnership among leading businesses to target vulnerabilities in supply chains and trading routes and cut off market access for illegal wildlife products.

The US Government Commends USWTA
“We have made good progress in cracking down on this illegal market through cooperation across governments, but the private sector has an important role to play in these efforts,” said Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, co-chair of the President’s Task Force on Wildlife Trafficking. “I applaud the U.S. Wildlife Trafficking Alliance and the leadership of David Hayes in encouraging thoughtful businesses and non-profits to step up with strong commitments to stop this scourge.”

The United States can be a global leader in helping to save wildlife from illegal killing. Government, business, and consumers can work together to protect these treasured species for the benefit of our planet, our security, and future generations.

—-Stephen D’Esposito, President

 

Posted in Blog | Comments Off

Presidential Memorandum Affirms RESOLVE’s work on Landscape-Scale Planning

Nov 3, 2015

Large-scale plans and analysis should inform the identification of areas where development may be most appropriate, where high natural resource values result in the best locations for protection and restoration, or where natural resource values are irreplaceable.”

Today the White House released a Presidential Memorandum calling for the use of “large-scale plans and analysis,” such as landscape-scale and watershed planning, to inform the design of federal policies and standards on conservation and natural resource development. This Memorandum echoes and affirms the work of RESOLVE’s Solutions Network, which is home to a multi-sector group seeking to advance the use of landscape-scale planning for responsible natural resource development. RESOLVE recently produced a series of podcast interviews exploring a variety of perspectives on landscape-scale planning, and RESOLVE and the World Economic Forum have commissioned a white paper by the Nature Conservancy on landscape-scale planning, which will be released later this year.

The Presidential Memorandum emphasizes the use of landscape-scale approaches to achieve both strong environmental outcomes and to encourage development by implementing policies that seek to reduce negative impacts and offset foreseeable harmful impacts to natural resources in advance. The Memorandum also encourages private investment in restoration efforts and public-private partnerships in to achieve restoration and conservation goals.

For more information on the RESOLVE’s work on landscape-scale planning, visit: http://solutions-network.org/site-gemmx/

To listen to RESOLVE Podcasts on landscape-scale planning, visit: https://soundcloud.com/resolveradio

To view the Presidential Memorandum, visit: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/11/03/mitigating-impacts-natural-resources-development-and-encouraging-related

Posted in Blog | Comments Off

Press Release: RESOLVE Releases Community Health and Shale Development Guidebook

Nov 2, 2015

Fills an “Information Gap” and Drills into Solutions for Communities, Government, and Industry 

A 2013 Wall Street Journal analysis determined that over 15 million Americans now live within a mile of a shale well that has been drilled since 2000. As shale energy development, also known as hydraulic fracturing or “fracking,” takes place in communities across the United States, local public health officials and other stakeholders are seeking guidance on the issues that could accompany development. In response to this information gap, RESOLVE has created the Community Health and Shale Development Guidebook (http://solutions-network.org/site-communityhealthguidebook/).

“When shale development takes place, we should know what’s worked in other communities to address public health issues,” said Stephen D’Esposito, president of RESOLVE. “The guidebook is unique because it’s a project that draws from a broad range of stakeholders—health experts, companies, communities, NGOs, and others to share lessons.”

The guidebook provides information on health issues throughout the lifecycle of the shale development process from initial assessment to project closure; it is uniquely positioned to be a valuable source of information for those unfamiliar with the process. Shaped by the insights of a cross-sector working group consisting of members from the National Association of Country and City Health Officials (NACCHO), the Pew Trusts Health Impact Assessment Project, and Shell Oil Company – as well as by contributions from expert advisors and reviewers from the public health, NGO, and industry sectors – the guidebook offers options for responding to challenges, case studies of solutions that have worked, and a set of in-depth resources from a variety of perspectives.

According to David Dyjack, executive director of the National Environmental Health Association, “The Community Health and Shale Development Guidebook represents what is possible when industry, the public sector, and non-profits collaborate. The result is a practical, useful, and resource-rich guidance document helpful in the anticipation, recognition, evaluation, and control of the risks associated with the energy sector.”

Beyond providing information and options for local decision-makers, the guidebook will be used to inform the design of trainings and educational materials for public health officials. Launched as both a print and web-based resource, the guidebook will be accessible for all stakeholders, and will be regularly updated with information and case studies.

RESOLVE project director Dana Goodson said, “We are excited by the positive reception the guidebook received during the review workshops, and we are hopeful that it will serve as a valuable resource for local officials, community members, and industry representatives. We look forward to continuing to work with a variety of stakeholders to find solutions to challenges in shale development and to develop future versions of the guidebook.”

To view the guidebook in web and PDF versions, visit http://solutions-network.org/site-communityhealthguidebook/.

For more information, please contact:

Dana Goodson – Project Director

(+1) 202- 965-6209

comm...@resolv.org

About RESOLVE

RESOLVE builds strong, enduring solutions to environmental, social, and health challenges. We help community, business, government, and NGO leaders get results and create lasting relationships through collaboration. RESOLVE is an independent non-profit organization with a thirty-eight year track record of success.

Posted in Blog | Comments Off

Understanding and Strengthening Agreements Between Communities and Extractives Companies

Oct 12, 2015

On September 15, RESOLVE published From Rights to Results, a report examining the context, content, and functioning of agreements that companies establish with Indigenous communities for mining and oil and gas projects. Based on interviews and surveys with stakeholders from industry, government, communities, and civil society, From Rights to Results considers evolving government and corporate policies on Indigenous rights and the right of communities to Free, Prior, and Informed Consent (FPIC) in selected Latin American countries. RESOLVE conducted this analysis at the direction of the FPIC Solutions Dialogue, a community of industry and civil society leaders seeking to develop guidance and practice for those seeking to implement FPIC at potential extractive development sites. Our research and analytical work indicate that there are specific opportunities to create conditions for better agreements between companies and communities. From Rights to Results identifies those opportunities, as well as a range of challenges and research gaps.

Reactions to the report have been positive to date, with one former industry executive calling it “an excellent contribution to the whole issue of community engagement with extractives.” Another asserted that the report should be circulated broadly as the findings will be valuable in a range of geographies beyond the official Latin American scope of the research. An NGO representative congratulated the team on “this fantastic vision, implementation, and report. I am so happy to read that work to make FPIC real and functional is happening. I am not surprised that RESOLVE is front and center.”

RESOLVE Strategic Partner Tim Martin served as lead analyst, interviewer, and author. Steve D’Esposito and Senior Advisor Kate Kopischke also conducted interviews. Program Manager Taylor Kennedy and Associate Sallie Dehler also provided extensive research, drafting, and editing support.

Posted in Blog | Comments Off

RESOLVE Awarded by the Clinton Global Initiative: Video

Sep 30, 2015

Watch RESOLVE and partners get featured on stage at the Clinton Global Initiative Plenary Session titled “Investing in Prevention and Resilient Health Systems”:

 

Skip to where Chelsea Clinton explains ReGrow West Africa:

Posted in Blog | Comments Off

Press Release: ReGrow West Africa Partnership, Which Targets Post Ebola Economic Recovery, A Featured CGI Commitment

Sep 28, 2015

RESOLVE and Partners Make New Commitment to Reignite Post-Ebola Sustainable Economic Development in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra 

September 28, 2015, WASHINGTON – Yesterday, at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Annual Meeting in New York, Stephen D’Esposito, President and CEO of RESOLVE, joined Chelsea Clinton and other leaders on stage, during the Plenary Session titled “Investing in Prevention and Resilient Health Systems,” to announce a new CGI Commitment to Action: catalyzing sustainable economic recovery in the three West African countries most affected by Ebola – Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea.  The commitment, “ReGrow West Africa: Post-Ebola Private Sector Recovery” was selected for its “exemplary approach to addressing a critical challenge.”

The Ebola public health crisis in West Africa crippled the economies of Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea. The withdrawal of private sector investment in these countries has led to huge losses of employment, income and government tax revenue. RESOLVE and ReGrow’s implementing partners, including the German Development Agency (GIZ), Cordaid, Chevron, the TAIA Peace Foundation, the Sierra Leone Investment and Export Promotion Agency (SLEIPA), leaders from the Ebola Private Sector Mobilization Group (“EPSMG”), will support the recovery and development of the private sector in the three affected countries by building public-private partnerships to overcome early development hurdles that block viable projects.

Photo: Clinton Global Initiative

“When it comes to public health, an economic offensive is an essential form of defense.  Let’s not forget, prior to Ebola these countries were growing.  ReGrow West Africa is simply a catalyst to restart this growth and reignite the entrepreneurial spirit in these countries, underpinned by a focus on sustainable development” said Stephen D’Esposito, President of RESOLVE.

The fundamental premise behind ReGrow West Africa – that strong public health systems are reliant on strong economies with dynamic private sectors – presents novel opportunities for collaborations across sectors, and is part of a new wave of innovative economic development.

“ReGrow West Africa is more than aid, it puts assets in the hands of Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea for economic growth today and strengthened health systems and networks tomorrow” said Jeffrey Wright, RESOLVE Board Member, award-winning actor, and businessman who is active in development and philanthropy in Sierra Leone.

Central to this initiative is the ReGrow Marketplace, a platform that will profile investment projects and small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) and help connect them with international investors, donors and other partners. “ReGrow West Africa fills a gap by identifying development-oriented investment projects, curating the portfolio, and creating a platform for private sector partnerships,” said Hussine Yilla, a Sierra Leonean business consultant.

ReGrow West Africa includes an innovative mechanism for providing direct funding for private sector development, the Resilience Trust. Building on the $1M funding commitment from Chevron, the Trust will provide direct investment in SMEs and high-impact greenfield projects.

For more information on ReGrow West Africa and Peace Diamonds contact:

Richard Schroeder, Director, RESOLVE Sustainable Development Initiative
rsch...@resolv.org
+1 410 446 6426 or +1 202 965 6214

Stephen D’Esposito, President and CEO, RESOLVE
sdes...@resolv.org">sdes...@resolv.org
+1 202 255 2717

About the Clinton Global Initiative

Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), an initiative of the Clinton Foundation, convenes global leaders to create and implement solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. CGI Annual Meetings have brought together 190 sitting and former heads of state, more than 20 Nobel Prize laureates, and hundreds of leading CEOs, heads of foundations and NGOs, major philanthropists, and members of the media. To date, members of the CGI community have made more than 3,200 Commitments to Action, which have improved the lives of over 430 million people in more than 180 countries.

In addition to the Annual Meeting, CGI convenes CGI America, a meeting focused on collaborative solutions to economic recovery in the United States; and CGI University (CGI U), which brings together undergraduate and graduate students to address pressing challenges in their community or around the world. This year, CGI also convened CGI Middle East & Africa, which brought together leaders across sectors to take action on pressing social, economic, and environmental challenges.

For more information, visitclintonglobalinitiative.org and follow us on Twitter @ClintonGlobal and Facebook at facebook.com/clintonglobalinitiative.

About RESOLVE

RESOLVE builds strong, enduring solutions to environmental, social, and health challenges. We help community, business, government, and NGO leaders get results and create lasting relationships through collaboration. RESOLVE is an independent non-profit organization with a thirty-eight year track record of success.

Link to Press Release on CSRWire: http://bit.ly/1Reebe7

Posted in Blog | Tagged | Comments Off

Clinton Global Initiative Features ReGrow West Africa’s Innovative Approach to Post Ebola Economic Recovery

Sep 27, 2015

Today RESOLVE was featured at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Annual Meeting to announce a new CGI Commitment to Action, ReGrow West Africa, which aims to catalyze sustainable economic recovery in the three West African countries most affected by Ebola – Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea. Steve D’Esposito, President and CEO of RESOLVE and Jeffrey Wright, RESOLVE Board Member, award-winning actor, and business man who is active in development and philanthropy in Sierra Leone, shared the stage with international leaders, who were also recognized for their commitments geared towards building resilient public health systems.

Steve D’Esposito (President/CEO of Resolve) and Jeffrey Wright (RESOLVE Board member) on stage at CGI Annual Meeting

The Ebola public health crisis in West Africa crippled the economies of Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea. The withdrawal of private sector investment in these countries has led to huge losses of employment, income and government tax revenue. RESOLVE and ReGrow’s implementing partners, including the German Development Agency (GIZ), Cordaid, Chevron, the TAIA Peace Foundation, the Sierra Leone Investment and Export Promotion Agency (SLEIPA), leaders from the Ebola Private Sector Mobilization Group (“EPSMG”), will support the recovery and development of the private sector in the three affected countries by building public-private partnerships to overcome early development hurdles that block viable projects. Central to this initiative is the ReGrow Marketplace, a platform that will profile investment projects and small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) and help connect them with international investors, donors and other partners.

The panel session prior to the ceremony reaffirmed the fundamental premise behind ReGrow West Africa – that strong public health systems are reliant on strong economies with dynamic private sectors. Indeed, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, former Finance Minister of Nigeria, cited that diverse perspectives and collaborations, particularly engagement with the private sector, are essential components of resilient public health systems. Similarly, actress Charlize Theron, founder of the Africa Outreach Project and United Nations Messenger of Peace, stated that a business mindset needs to inform and strengthen philanthropic initiatives.

Chelsea Clinton closed the ceremony by asking the audience for an unprecedented standing ovation for the featured participants. RESOLVE is honoured to have been featured among so many diverse and impressive initiatives at CGI, and will continue to develop novel collaborations to fuel economic development and the growth of robust public health systems.

To view a recording of the event, visit: http://livestream.com/CGI/events/4366856/videos/100493557

 

Posted in Blog | Tagged , , | Comments Off

Jewelry Industry Shines in Fight Against Wildlife Trafficking

Sep 24, 2015

Fighting the trade in illegal ivory is a group effort, and the jewelry sector is taking the lead. By implementing best practices, educating customers about the true cost of illegal wildlife products and maintaining clean supply chains, the jewelry industry is doing its part to eliminate both the supply of, and the demand for, illegal wildlife products.

Nearly every fifteen minutes, an elephant is killed for its ivory. RESOLVE is helping safeguard the future of elephants and other trafficked animals as part of the U.S. Wildlife Trafficking Alliance, “a voluntary coalition of non-profit organizations, companies, foundations and media interests that will be working closely with the U.S. government in a collaboration to reduce the purchase and sale of illegal wildlife and wildlife products.”

RESOLVE has worked with leading jewelers, US DOI and NGOs through the US Wildlife (ANTI) Trafficking Alliance to shine a spotlight on this issue. And we’re walking the talk through the work of our Biodiversity and Wildlife Solutions Program, implementing on-the-ground fixes: The program team recently deployed a drone to help save an elephant injured by a poacher’s poisoned arrow near the Kenya-Tanzania border.

By partnering with responsible industries and testing innovative solutions, RESOLVE continues to build strong, enduring solutions to environmental, social, and health challenges.

Check out the ad in the October issue of Instore Magazine.

-Stephen D’Esposito, President

Posted in Blog | Tagged , , | Comments Off

Eureka! – Mike Loch on Joining RESOLVE as a Strategic Partner

Jul 23, 2015

Some people in life know exactly what they want to do from the moment they are born. For me, it has been more of a directionally correct journey with various course corrections along the way. But after over 30 years working on numerous issues of corporate social and environmental responsibility, I am excited to dedicate myself full-time to a focus area that has become my true passion. For the past 8 years, I have taken leadership roles in the development and launch of several global conflict minerals initiatives, including the Conflict Free Sourcing Initiative (CFSI), Public Private Alliance for Responsible Minerals Trade (PPA), Solutions for Hope (SfH), and Conflict Free Tin Initiative (CFTI). With that background, I recently left my employer of over 29 years to launch my own consultancy – Responsible Trade LLC – to help corporations, both upstream and downstream, implement responsible trade policies and practices within their supply chains.

Initially, Responsible Trade LLC will support entities wishing to implement practical due diligence when the products they produce contain any tin, tantalum, tungsten, or gold – the most commonly recognized conflict minerals. We will provide support along the supply chain from the mine, to the brand company, and at all levels in between. In addition to the compliance and audit aspect, the company will also support the development and implementation of systems that source from conflict affected and high risk areas and connect the supply chain actors to help provide assurance that these materials are truly responsibly sourced.

I have worked with Jen, Steve, and Taylor at RESOLVE for several years now – RESOLVE serves as Facilitator to the PPA and now Secretariat of the expanded Solutions for Hope Platform. In my new role as President and CEO of Responsible Trade LLC, I am excited to officially become one of RESOLVE’s strategic partners. There is a need to continue to build systems and programs that will allow legitimate conflict free materials from the DRC and other areas affected by conflict to enter the global market. This need is even more pronounced now that the EU is drafting regulations that apply to any “high risk” or “conflict affected” areas worldwide, far above and beyond the U.S. Dodd-Frank regulation, which applies to the Democratic Republic of Congo and adjoining countries. Without strategic interventions, artisanal miners in these countries – even those operating legally and free of conflict – could lose their livelihoods. Given RESOLVE’ s experience in this space, I am excited to be partnering with them to help industry stay engaged in these areas and to use the lessons learned over the past eight years to shorten the learning curve. I’m eager to help organizations implement proven approaches and create the needed changes to contribute to peacebuilding, support responsible artisanal mining, enhance their own due diligence processes, and improve their bottom lines in the process.

My partnership with RESOLVE will support mission-focused activities and partnerships to help advance social, environmental and community benefit. We will be exploring project ideas to develop through RESOLVE’s Solutions Network and welcome any project ideas that you have. Or if I can help you on a commercial basis, please contact me at Mike...@ResponsibleTradeLLC.com.

- Mike Loch, Strategic Partner

Posted in Blog | Comments Off
 

Recent Tweets