RESP Launches International Consultation on Sustainability of the Coloured Gems Industry

On 8 June 2015, the Responsible Ecosystems Sourcing Platform (RESP) launched an international consultation process that will assist in the identification of key sustainability-related priorities for the coloured gemstones industry.

This consultation is the first of its kind and will seek to contribute to the development of a sustainability framework for artisanal and small scale mining of coloured gemstones and provide initial elements to assess its potential implementation through an international standard.

The coloured gemstone industry has a global reach with mining operations in 47 countries across the world. The industry accounts for around USD 10 billion per year and unlike diamonds which are controlled by a few major mining companies, the coloured gemstone depends on artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) for a staggering 80% of its total global output. For this reason, the industry is increasingly important for the livelihoods of millions of people around the world.

However, the industry contains a complex set of sustainability issues which are only beginning to be understood. In recent years a number of initiatives have begun trying to clarify the sustainability landscape of the coloured gemstones industry, but the lack of an agreed international sustainability framework has become a major challenge to finding common ground from where to begin a structured discussion.

Read the full announcement at the RESP website