Earth Finds

Earth Finds

Jeweller Completes First Export of Conflict-Free DRC Gold

Partnership Africa Canada and Fair Trade Jewellery Co. on Monday announced the first export of conflict-free and traceable artisanal gold from the Democratic Republic of Congo to Canada.

The milestone comes a month after Partnership Africa Canada announced the Just Gold project had implemented a system to trace legal and conflict-free artisanal gold in DRC, with a proven chain of custody from mine site to exporter.

Fair Trade Jewellery Co., a Toronto-based pioneer in ethical sourcing, sustainability and retail, imported 238 grams in three gold doré bars to Canada.

Within days, the Toronto team refined, alloyed and designed four responsibly-mined and conflict-free artisanal gold rings. Each ring has been engraved with a lot number, which traces it to a specific mine site in the DRC’s Ituri Province, where the gold originated.

“Sourcing from Congo was a new and exceptionally ambitious process, but one to which our organization is committed to and capable of achieving thanks to partners on the ground, like Partnership Africa Canada,” said Robin Gambhir, Fair Trade Jewellery Co. co-founder.

“After more than a decade of ensuring that our materials are responsibly-sourced, we’re delighted to add Just Gold to the gold options we currently offer our clients. Ensuring we source fully traceable materials directly from communities is a way to foster community development, and as a company—deepen our impact on many stakeholders,” added Gambhir.

Partnership Africa Canada began the Just Gold project as a pilot in 2015 in Ituri Province. The project creates incentives for artisanal gold miners to channel their product to legal exporters—and eventually responsible consumers—by offering fair and transparent pricing and by providing capacity-building, such as technical assistance to miners in return for legal sales. Miners are taught better exploitation techniques and are offered Just Gold project equipment. In return, gold they produce must be tracked and sold through legal channels.

The project has over 600 miners registered across six sites.

As the project moves out of its pilot phase with a proven chain of custody from mine site to the exporter in DRC, Fair Trade Jewellery Co.’s move to import the gold is an important next step. The jeweller also collaborates with its sister company, Toronto-based software startup Consensas, to trace the gold from export to consumer.

“This export from Bunia, DRC to Toronto proved that it is possible to bring Canadian and international consumers traced conflict-free Congolese artisanal gold. What is particularly exciting is that we have shown that every gram of gold can be accompanied by reliable quantitative and qualitative data about its provenance and the actors involved in its extraction, production and trade,” said Joanne Lebert, Partnership Africa Canada’s Executive Director.

“Saying that it is impossible to carry out due diligence on gold supply chains is no longer a valid argument for industry. We have proven otherwise,” said Lebert.

Challenges faced during this export included high export taxes, transportation restrictions, and burdensome paperwork, will be used by Partnership Africa Canada to call on the Congolese government to create more favourable conditions for legal trade and responsible investment.

Funding for the Just Gold project is provided to Partnership Africa Canada by Global Affairs Canada, with additional funding by USAID through the Capacity Building for Responsible Minerals Trade (CBRMT) project and International Organization for Migration.

Things You Need To Know About The New Shell V-Power Club

At the relaunch of the Shell V-Power Club last weekend, it was announced that there would be two grand prizes instead of the industry standard one to Abu Dhabi. The bigger, better club is back with more prizes. But if you weren’t there, here are 7 things you shouldn’t miss.

Even More Trips This Year!

Italy is on the map! The Monza grand prix is one of the longest running events on the Formula One calendar. The Monza grand prix is also one of the inaugural Formula One championship races still on the calendar after the Monaco and Belgian Grand Prix. On top of Abu Dhabi, there will be a trip to Monza, home of Ferrari.

Every Litre Counts!

In this new and improved edition of the club, members will earn ten (10) points for every litre of Shell V-Power consumed. So every drop will count.

Win Every Monthly!

Every month, members who’ve accumulated 500 points and more will qualify for a monthly draw to win prizes. Those will include free fuel, weekend getaways to Serena Kigo, car toolboxes, free car service vouchers and sets of tyres.

Everyone Can Win!

Members in the motorcycle category will only require 200 points to qualify for the monthly prizes. Well, it’s probably time your boda guy got a club card

For The Grand Prize!

Accumulate 10,000 points and you automatically enter the draw for the Grand Prix prize for an all-expenses paid trip to Abu-Dhabi and Italy’s Monza grand prix events.

Redeem Your Points!

Points can be redeemed at any of the 66 Shell V-Power dispensing sites countrywide. But don’t worry if you don’t win a prize because you can redeem all your points for free fuel. Best news is you can also redeem your points from last year!

Lucky Seven!

7 lucky club members will win the grand prize of an all-expense paid trip to the Formula One Grand Prix events, in Italy in September or Abu Dhabi in November.

 

Delhi Public School International Tops Olympiad Exams

Uganda’s Delhi Public School International (DPSI) excelled in various examinations organized by globally acclaimed Olympiad Foundation, the Kololo based international school revealed.

An official from Olympiad Foundation, Mrs Indrani Ghosh, was in Kampala to deliver a letter of appreciation from the Foundation for the excellent performance. The official was hosted by the school’s Principal, Mr. Swami Nathan at the school.

“DPSI is proud to present the International Toppers (rank 1) and Merit Winners of various Olympiad Examinations that were conducted in the Academic Session 2016-2017. Congratulations go out to the principals, teachers, and students for the hard work and effort that has led to this big achievement.” The school said in a Facebook post on Tuesday.

Delhi Public School International follows the CBSE syllabus and complements it with teaching and learning tools such as audio-visual techniques, computer-aided learning, visual aids, LCDs, charts, models, games, role plays, art, worksheets and more, which make learning an exciting and meaningful experience.

“We choose the Indian National Curriculum because it is learner oriented, and students who have always used it are theoretically sound. We encourage parents to feel part of the school and keep them informed through regular PTA meetings & written reports,” the school elaborated.

The India based National Olympiad Foundation (NOF) helps academic and enterprising talent to come out from the walls of classroom. NOF conducts one of its own global talent search exam where the resources are utilized for children in need who are ignorant about education.

Central Asian Countries Commit To Accelerate The Uptake Of Renewables

Countries of Central Asia and the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) last week released a Communiqué on accelerating renewable energy deployment in the region.

The Communiqué was released in the framework of the Energy Ministerial, Meeting the Challenge of Sustainable Energy at the Astana EXPO-2017. The meeting identified six key areas to facilitate the up-take of renewables and help diversify the region’s energy mix, reflected in detail in a regional Action Plan.

“Covering over four million square kilometers, the countries of Central Asia are endowed with rich renewable energy sources that can drive sustainable economic development and growth,” said IRENA Director-General Adnan Z. Amin.

“With renewable energy targets in place for 2020 and beyond, the region can now seize this transformative opportunity for a sustainable energy future, and the new Action Plan will help boost efforts of renewable energy uptake".

During the Energy Ministerial at the Astana EXPO-2017, countries agreed that renewable energy plays a critical role in addressing the major regional challenges identified in IRENA’s analysis, including: rising electricity demand; ageing power infrastructure; limited energy access for remote areas; and the impact of climate change on the energy systems.

“The collaboration between Kazakhstan and IRENA continues to be fruitful, and together we have made significant strides in assessing the future development of renewable energy in the region.

We recognise that renewable energy can help the region with the imperative to modernise its energy system and to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement. Kazakhstan welcomes the efforts made today. I believe the EXPO, over the next couple of months, will provide the international community with a platform for valuable discussions on expertise, innovative solutions and promising projects in the renewable energy field,” said Bozumbayev Kanat Aldabergenovich, Kazakhstan’s Energy Minister at the Energy Ministerial.

Recently, the region has made strides in diversifying its energy mix, and installed 500 megawatts of new non-hydro renewable power capacity over the last two years. However, remote areas still lack reliable power and heat, issues which renewable energy and energy efficiency together can help address.

Speaking at the Ministerial, Mohamed El-Farnawany, Director of Strategic Management and Executive Direction at IRENA said, “The Action Plan reflects the commitment of the countries of Central Asia to further their economic development, through accelerating the uptake of renewable energy. It also enables them to reduce carbon emissions and fulfil their international objectives and national ambitions in this regard.”

Countries identified the following areas for IRENA collaboration to facilitate the deployment of renewable energy in the region: resource assessments, integration of variable renewable energy into power grids, policies and regulations for renewable energy deployment, renewable energy statistics and data collection, project facilitation, and awareness raising.

IRENA will work closely with countries of the region as well as partners and stakeholders to support ongoing work to advance renewable energy development in Central Asia.

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