Markets working to support sustainable development

In the News: August 31st 2015

31 Aug 2015

Here you will find a round-up of all the latest news and events in market governance from around the world.

Mining

  • The Ghanaian Deputy Minister for Finance, Mona Quartey, has argued that more than transparency is required to ensure good governance of the extractive industries in the country. Speaking at a workshop for the Ghanaian branch of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, Minister Quartey said that it was also crucial for the Parliament to pass legislation to assist the monitoring of mining revenue. For more analysis of the EITI, read this Shaping Sustainable Markets article.
  • The majority partner in the South African Government, the African National Congress, has argued that greater transparency is required in tendering for major projects, particularly in the extractives sector. It said that South Africa should sign up to the EITI and the Kimberly Process certification which ensures that diamonds are not from conflict zones. 
  • Americans buying jewellery will now have the opportunity to purchase ethically-sourced items from artisanal and small scale miners in developing countries. Reflective Images Jewellery has worked with Fairtrade International to bring Fairtrade Gold to the country.

An Andean man in traditional dress. Source: Wikipedia

Certification schemes

  • Labelling and certification schemes exist for ecological and fair trade products, but it seems that there is no such scheme that specifically seeks to protect biological and cultural diversity. That is why IIED, the University of Leeds and Asociacion ANDES (Peru) are developing a new labelling or biocultural heritage (BCH) indication scheme for biocultural, heritage-based products. They are consulting on the design of the scheme, and seeking feedback from indigenous organisations NGOs, practitioners, researchers, governments and United Nations agencies. Your feedback will be used to develop a proposal for a biocultural heritage indications scheme. Please respond by 30 December 2015. For more info see here. Also see this IIED paper for more of an analysis of biocultural heritage.

Fisheries

  • The US Government has downgraded Thailand on their ‘trafficking in persons’ watchlist, with potential ramifications for the fisheries industry in the country. Thai fisheries has come under scrutiny in recent times for accused practices of 'seafood slavery'. In responding, the Thai Tuna Industry Association pointed to collaboration with the ILO, and a number of certification processes such as the Marine Stewardship Council. For an IIED analysis of the challenges of implementing standards like MSC in developing countries like Thailand, see here.

A monkey in a forest in Bali, Indonesia. Source: Wikipedia

Forestry

  • The future of Indonesia’s branch of the UN REDD+ deforestation programme is in doubt. The national agency responsible for REDD+ administration in Indonesia has been abolished by new President Widodo. Its functions have been subsumed into another government department. The dismissed head of the agency, Heru Prasetyo, said that “REDD+ now has a bleak future as a brand here in Indonesia.” However it may be too soon to judge, with another observer saying that the new government's plans for REDD+ were in a period of transition. Keep tuned to SSM news for more updates.

Climate

  • The future of climate finance in the Paris climate negotiations, including the Green Climate Fund, has been much debated. Amal-Lee Amin from the Inter-American Development Bank has argued for clarity on how $100bn/year by 2020 will be achieved, and what rules will evaluate the process. Meanwhile there is conjecture on how much private finance will make up of the GCF. Paul Simpson from Carbon Disclosure Project argues for a 50/50 public/private split. Alix Mazounie from Climate Action Network- France says that the negotiations should commit to strong public finance targets.