RESOLVE

PPA May 13, 2016 Alignment Meeting Summary and Documents Now Available

Jun 23, 2016

On May 13, the PPA convened its eighth Alignment Session following the ICGLR-OECD-UN GoE Forum on Responsible Mineral Supply Chains in Paris. In addition to the PPA’s tripartite Governance Committee, the meeting was attended by representatives of the ICGLR and its member states, as well as in-region systems operators. Discussion covered: implementation of the Regional Certification Mechanism and opportunities to collaborate and strengthen its implementation, alignment and credibility; updates from the Independent Mineral Chain Auditor Office; and opportunities to harmonize and improve efficiency of information collection and sharing by upstream organizations and governments with downstream industry and civil society. RESOLVE’s summary of updates, challenges, considerations, and next steps has been posted to the PPA website.

Materials shared at or following the meeting are available (or will be posted when available) below:

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Save Act Mine Project Fraud Hotline and Artisanal Miner Manual

Jun 30, 2016

A grant to Save Act Mine has just wrapped. With the PPA’s support, Save Act Mine operated a telephone hotline to receive reports of suspected illicit trafficking of tin, tantalum, tungsten, and gold in North and South Kivu. Save Act Mine conducted investigations to verify claims and inform appropriate authorities. Save Act Mine also produced a graphic manual (akin to a comic book) on due diligence risks. The manual will be distributed to artisanal miners, traders, exporters, and other upstream actors. Once final reports are approved by the PPA Governance Committee and In-Region Work Group, they will be posted on the PPA website, along with the manual (in English, French, and Lingala).

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$150k+ in Supplemental Contributions to the PPA!

Jun 30, 2016

Several PPA members have made noteworthy contributions in recent months. A grant from U.S. Department of State will support RESOLVE’s secretariat services in all of 2016. In addition, member organizations Google, GE, Sony, Apple, and Blackberry have made supplemental contributions to the PPA’s funding pool – a total of $150,000! A portion of these voluntary contributions has already been committed to support new grants by the PPA to IPIS and the ICGLR (see below announcements on new projects). Current remaining funds will support approximately one medium grant or 4-5 small grants to support in-region projects in the remaining year of the PPA MOU (which expires in August 2017). The PPA Governance Committee requests that all members consider a 2016 supplemental contribution to the PPA to allow additional grant making and activities.

The PPA provides a vetted, safe, and flexible channel for organizations seeking to support responsible trade in the Great Lakes Region. By joining together, funders maximize the impact of their contributions. To discuss making a supplementary contribution to the PPA, please contact RESOLVE (tken...@resolv.org; jpey...@resolv.org).

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PPA Launches Grants on Gold Trade and Regional Ombuds Role (IMCA)

Jun 30, 2016

The PPA initiated two new grants in the first half of 2016. A grant to the ICGLR will support the first year of the office of the Independent Mineral Chain Auditor (IMCA), which serves as ombuds to investigate concerns about implementation or fraud within the Regional Certification Mechanism. The focus of this first year, however, will be to build the capacity of the office by developing systems and relationships that must be in place for investigations to occur. Dr. Jean Didier Losango was appointed on March 1, and the grant will continue through February of 2017.

A second grant was approved to IPIS to pilot a system to collect, assimilate, and disseminate information on gold mining and trade (including OECD conformance) by civil society actors and state agents in and around two major gold trading hubs in the DRC. The project kicked off in April and is expected to continue through early summer 2017. A first report is expected this summer and will be made available to PPA members.

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European Partnership on Responsible Minerals (EPRM)

Jun 30, 2016

A new public-private partnership among European Union stakeholders was announced in mid-May. The European Partnership on Responsible Minerals (EPRM) is still scoping its membership and activities, but will have a global focus – in line with EU legislation on conflict minerals. RESOLVE has worked closely with the Dutch Foreign Ministry to prepare a Frequently Asked Questions document for members of the PPA and other interested parties. A press release with more information about the announcement is also available.

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ICGLR Seeking Assistant for IMCA – Application Deadline July 15

Jun 30, 2016

The ICGLR is seeking an administrative and research assistant to the Independent Mineral Chain Auditor. The assistant will provide administrative and technical support in designing and delivering the IMCA’s investigation program. The full job announcement is posted on the ICGLR website; applications are due by COB July 15.

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Great Lakes Investment Conference Held in February

Jun 30, 2016

The Private Sector Investment Conference for the Great Lakes Region was held February 24-25, 2016 in Kinshasa, DRC. This event convened political and business leaders to highlight regional investment opportunities and to offer recommendations for signatory countries, the private sector, and development partners to can contribute to regional integration, economic cooperation, inclusive development, and lasting peace and stability. The event was organized by the ICGLR and the Office of the Special Envoy of the United Nations Secretary-General for the Great Lakes and hosted by the Government of the DRC. The conference website hosts several background materials and executive summary and full versions of the final conference report, which outline the recommendations made for signatory countries, the private sector, and development partners.

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Milestone for Due Diligence in Artisanal Gold Exports from DRC

Jun 30, 2016

For the past several months, PPA member Partnership Africa Canada (PAC) has been working to establish a conflict-free artisanal gold supply from DRC for international export. PAC has been working with the Bunia-based gold exporter Muungano na Maendeleo (MnM) to build a traceable supply chain that adheres to OECD Due Diligence Guidance and the ICGLR Regional Certification Mechanism. In the course of ongoing due diligence assessments, MnM learned that one of its members may have be involved in illicit activities, and the exporter took the decision to suspend ties with this member. This decision was applauded by the OECD and PAC as an important breakthrough, with MnM as the first exporter in the country to commit to implementing the recommendations of the OECD.

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Workshop to Support Traceability and Certification Implementation

Jun 30, 2016

PAC also convened a workshop in March to support policymakers, mining officials, exporters, and civil society to improve local implementation of the Regional Certification Mechanism in the Ituri Province of DRC.

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PPA Releases Independent Assessment of Responsible Sourcing Programs

Aug 18, 2015

On August 18, the PPA released a report by Estelle Levin Ltd. detailing the findings from an independent assessment of three responsible sourcing initiatives – a Solutions for Hope tantalum pilot, a KEMET tantalum pilot, and the Conflict Free Tin Initiative pilot in October 2012.

Among its many findings, the assessment concluded that these programs:

  • Demonstrated and communicated “proof of concept” for viability and value of sourcing tin and tantalum from the DRC
  • Provided a platform for global-local engagement
  • Demonstrated a business case for responsible sourcing of tin and tantalum
  • Highlighted misunderstandings and mismatched expectations
  • Demonstrated the importance of identification and transparent collection of baseline data
  • Offered examples of community partnership and beneficiation
  • Highlighted broader challenges relating to ASM and governance

These findings are discussed in more detail in the report, as well as a statement from the PPA Governance Committee on key takeaways and highlights from the assessment. These materials are now posted on the PPA website.

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