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.



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).