Last week’s 2012 Plenary Meeting of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme – which attempts to prevent the trafficking of conflict diamonds – featured two noteworthy achievements for USAID’s ongoing efforts to strengthen land tenure and property rights and prevent conflict. The first achievement was a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between USAID and the European Union to support the implementation of the Kimberley Process. Under this MoU, USAID and the EU will collaborate on the Property Rights and Artisanal Diamond Development (PRADD) program. The PRADD program, which currently operates in the Central African Republic, works to clarify and strengthen the property rights of artisanal miners, while increasing the benefits to mining communities through environmental rehabilitation, enhanced diamond traceability, and improved land and mining laws. USAID and the EU will co-fund the expansion of the PRADD program into Cote D’Ivoire.
This is the first time USAID and the EU have partnered on artisanal mining issues. This type of partnership allows donors to coordinate efforts and leverage resources for maximum impact, further opening the door for greater international cooperation in combating conflict diamonds and addressing other land tenure issues.
The second achievement was the adoption of the Washington Declaration, which formally incorporates development objectives into Kimberley Process implementation. The Washington Declaration – which was developed by the KP Working Group on Artisanal and Alluvial Production, with support from the U.S. Government, the Diamond Development Initiative, and others – contains several policy goals formulated under the PRADD program. The PRADD program has been instrumental in demonstrating the importance of economic development in bringing rough diamonds into legitimate chains of custody.