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India to Chair Kimberley Process Certification Scheme from January 2019

India will Chair Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) from 1st January 2019. It was was handed Chairmanship by the European Union during KPCS Plenary 2018, which was held in Brussels, Belgium. India as KPCS Chair will be committed to

Commitments of India as KPCS Chair

  • Make KPCS stronger process in terms of inclusiveness, strengthened administration and implementation.
  • Make KPCS more efficient in terms of delivery of what it promises, more transparent and empathetic towards living standards of people who are dependent on production, trade and manufacture of diamonds.
  • Support Artisanal & Small-Scale Mining (ASM) with capacity building, technical assistance and education on valuation, differentiation between natural and lab-grown diamonds and importance of legal and formal mining practices.

Kimberley Process

It is joint initiative of governments, industry and civil societies to stem flow of ‘conflict diamonds’, rough diamonds used by rebel groups to finance wars against legitimate governments. It is also described in United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions. India is one of the founding members of KPCS. At present, KPCS has 54 members representing 81 countries including EU with 28 members.

KPCS came into effect from 1 January, 2003 through United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) Resolution. It outlines the rules that govern trade in rough diamonds. It has evolved into effective mechanism for stopping trade in conflict diamonds. It sets minimum requirements that each participant must meet. In India, the scheme is administered through Department of Commerce under aegis of the Union Commerce and Industry Ministry.

India and KPCS

India is founding member of KPCS. It is actively involved in KPCS activities to ensure that almost 99% of diamond trade in world is conflict free. It is committed to maintaining KPCS as efficient and effective process in order to ensure conflict diamond free status. It is also at forefront in addressing issue of differentiation between Natural Diamonds and Lab Grown Diamonds and ensure responsible business in this area.

India earlier had chaired Ad hoc Committee on Review and Reform (AHCRR). It had held one joint session with Chairs of other Working Groups and 4 sessions with AHCRR committee members to discuss issue of funding of Permanent Secretariat (PS), Multi-Donor Trust Fund (MDTF), peer review mechanism and consolidation to the core document.

Conflict diamonds

Conflict diamonds or blood diamonds are the rough diamonds used by rebel movements in the third world countries especially in Africa to finance (civil) wars with an aim to topple legitimate governments. The KPCS completely bans import and export of rough diamonds without certification.

Month: Categories: India Current Affairs 2018

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30 African countries launch joint initiative to save 4 carnivore species

More than 30 countries hosting the African wild dog, cheetah, leopard and the lion in Bonn, Germany have announced establishment of African Carnivore Initiative. It is first Africa-wide commitment towards saving these carnivores.

Key Facts

Supported by experts of IUCN Cat Specialist Group, these 30 range states agreed to establish work programme to guide their conservation actions in coming years. The countries agreed also agreed developing and implementing conservation strategies for each of four species; creating and maintaining network of healthy ecosystems to address threat of increasingly fragmented habitats and finding solutions to human-animal conflicts and facilitating coexistence. It also includes sustainable economic and livelihood benefits to communities and reducing costs of living alongside wildlife.

African Carnivores Initiative

  • It is umbrella initiative that targets four iconic African carnivore species African Lion (Panthera leo), Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus), Leopard (Panthera pardus), and African Wild Dog (Lycaon pictus).
  • It is unique collaboration between only two global treaties whose mandate is to conserve endangered species
  • Convention on Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS): It focuses on broad conservation measures, such as habitat protection, establishment of ecological corridors and mitigation of human-wildlife conflict.
  • Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES): It regulates international trade and seeks to stop illegal trade.

Mandate

  • Develop concrete, coordinated and synergistic conservation programmes for all four carnivore species, with local and regional projects implemented across their African range;
  • Develop policy guidance and recommendations for Range States, CITES and CMS concerning the four species.
  • Organize the collaboration with other conservation initiatives and organizations, such as IUCN.

Background

  • According to Red List Assessments of International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), African wild dog inhabits 6% of its historic range, while it is 9% for cheetah, 51% for the leopard and 17% for the lion.
  • The main reasons for these animals’ rapid decline across most of Africa are habitat loss and fragmentation, prey depletion, retaliatory killing by owners of livestock and increasing trade in lion specimens and live cheetah.

Month: Categories: Environment Current Affairs 2018

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