THE SIX TOOLS OF THE RINR
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The Initiative operates six specific tools in its effort to curb the illegal exploitation of natural resources in the Great Lakes Region. This approach was designed by the ICGLR Conference Secretariat and thereafter officially approved by the eleven Heads of State of the ICGLR Member States. The considerable successes that the Initiative has achieved since then are evidence of the utter utility of these tools which are hereafter described in detail.
I. Tool I: Regional Certification Mechanism
Being the core tool of the Initiative, the Regional Certification Mechanism implies the tracking of the chain of custody of four selected natural resources, namely cassiterite, wolframite, coltan and gold. These minerals were selected due to their conflict-proneness. The Regional Certification Mechanism will ensure that neither mine site nor channels of trade within the country as well the region are in predatory control of armed groups or criminal networks. The mechanism is to be supervised by an independent mineral chain auditor.
II. Tool II: Harmonisation of National Legislations
As prescribed in the Protocol §22, the legal provisions of the Protocol are to be domesticated by the ICGLR Member States into their national legislation. Additionally, the harmonisation approach comprises the identification of key differences between legal frameworks governing the mineral sector in the different Member States. The Initiative facilitated this process by consulting its Member States and drafting a model law which will accelerate the process of domestication.
III. Tool III: Regional Database on Mineral Flows
This tool foresees the establishment of a regional database on the production and trade with selected primary commodities in the Great Lakes Region. The availability and disclosure of this data will allow for the depiction of regional trade patterns and is also aimed at building trust among the Member States. In order to achieve these objectives the Initiative intends to expand the prototype of the database which is currently being tested, to build human capacities for data compilation on a national level and to assess the available data. The regional database is hosted at the ICGLR Secretariat in Bujumbura, Burundi.
Burundi : Individual Exports 2009-2011. Total Exports 2009-2011
DRC : Exports per province 2009-2010. Individual Exports 2011. Sud Kivu Total Exports 2008-2011
Rwanda : Rwanda Total Coltan Exports 2011
Uganda : Total Exports 2010
Burundi : Burundi Total Exports 2001-2010
DRC : Exportations de l’Or Nord Kivu par Compagnie 2011. Individual Exports 2011
Rwanda : Total Gold Exports Rwanda 1998-2010
Uganda : Uganda Gold Exports per Companies. UGANDA TOTAL GOLD EXPORTS 2002 - 2011
IV. Tool IV: Formalisation
The objective of this tool is to encourage the transformation of the artisanal mining to improve taxation systems, provision of extension services and capacity building. It aims at improving regulations, particularly in terms of simplifying registration and accounting requirements and increasing productivity.
Effective formalisation will increase transparency and thereby help reducing fraud. This applies to extraction, processing and trading within the Member States. Further activities will include capacity building in the respective ministries and agencies of Member States and the setting up of the required infrastructure for pilot tracking of mineral supply chains.
V. Tool V: EITI Peer Learning Mechanism
During the last few years the number of ICGLR Member States endorsing the standards of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) has been constantly increasing and several more Member States have signalled their intent to implement the EITI. As the experience of more advanced countries is very valuable to newcomers the ICGLR is a suitable forum for the facilitation of a peer learning mechanism.
Additionally, it is envisaged that mineral volumes, represented by financial revenues recorded by EITI, are balanced with the physical mineral volumes traded, recorded by the ICGLR Regional Database. The ICGLR also calls upon the EITI for the extension of the initiative to cover small scale mining in the informal sector.
VI. Tool VI: Whistle-blowing Mechanism
The implementation of a whistle-blowing mechanism aims at capitalising on the knowledge of individuals witnessing or participating in illicit mineral activities. A web-based platform will provide a possibility to anonymously report such confidential information which would then be followed up by an independent mineral chain auditor (refer to Tool I: Regional Certification Mechanism).