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THE DIAMOND DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVE WAS ESTABLISHED TO IMPROVE THE WORKING CONDITIONS OF ARTISANAL MINERS.

Diamond Facts -- Fact 11 The Diamond Development Initiative (DDI) aims to find sustainable methods of ensuring that diamonds are mined and distributed for the benefit of local communities and local governments. Unlike the more traditional, or formal, mines found in South Africa, Botswana and Namibia, small-scale informal alluvial diamond digging (also known as artisanal diamond digging) is usually undertaken by individuals, families or groups using very basic equipment to extract diamonds.

Most artisanal digging takes place around areas of alluvial deposits (deposits of sand, gravel and clay, which have been naturally transported by water erosion and deposited along either the banks of a river, the shoreline or on the bed of the ocean). There are a number of issues concerning the working conditions of small-scale informal diamond diggers. Among these are the unhealthy, unregulated and sometimes dangerous environments in which diggers work, together with the fact that the majority of diggers do not know the true value of rough diamonds and are therefore vulnerable to exploitation. In many cases the workers have no other option for employment and support a whole family on the substance wage given. The situation alluvial miners face today reflect the fundamental challenges of extreme poverty and a lack of basic infrastructure, education and healthcare in previously war-torn countries.

Founded through partnerships with governments, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and the diamond industry, the DDI seeks to improve conditions and systems for artisanal alluvial digging and build on the foundations established by the Kimberley Process. Its aim is to develop an understanding of the issues and implement pilot projects in local small-scale informal alluvial diamond digging communities to address concerns e.g. working conditions, fair-pricing and formalization.

Together with other similar programs such as the Mwadui Community Diamond Partnership, the Peace Diamond Alliance, Diamonds for Development and the Communities and Small Scale Mining project of the World Bank, a real and lasting difference can be made to the approximately one million individuals and their dependents who make their living in the artisanal mining sector.

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Fact #1: An estimated 5 million people have access to appropriate healthcare globally thanks to revenues from diamonds.
Fact #2: Conflict diamonds have been reduced from 4% to considerably less than 1%...
Fact #3: An estimated 10 million people globally are directly or indirectly supported by the diamond industry.
Fact #4: The diamond mining industry generates over 40% of Namibia's annual export earnings.
Fact #5: Diamond revenues enable every child in Botswana to receive free education...
Fact #6: In July 2000, the global diamond industry announced its zero-tolerance policy towards conflict diamonds...
Fact #7: Sierra Leone is now at peace and exported approximately $125 million diamonds in 2006.
Fact #8: Approximately one million people are employed by the diamond industry in India.
Fact #9: Approximately $8.5 billion worth of diamonds a year come from African countries.
Fact #10: More than 99% of diamonds are now from conflict free sources...
Fact #11: The Diamond Development Initiative was established to improve...
Fact #12: The revenue from diamonds is instrumental in the fight against the HIV/AIDS...
Fact #13: Under the Kimberley Process, rough diamonds can only be exported and imported when accompanied by a certificate...
Fact #14: The charity Jewelers for Children funds a community based care program...
Fact #15: An estimated 65% of the world's diamonds come from African countries.
Fact #16: Today, 74 governments...
Fact #17: The diamond industry has introduced a system to help give greater assurances to retailers...
Fact #18: Diamonds account for 33% of the GDP...
Fact #19: Major world leaders - including Nelson Mandela - have cited the importance of diamonds...
Fact #20: It is estimated that one million people work in the informal (astisanal) alluvial diamond digging sector.
Fact #21: Some diamond producing countries are not Kimberley Process compliant.
Fact #22: In November 2007, 74 governments, leading NGOs, and the World Diamond Council agreed...
Fact #23: At the 2006 Kimberley Process Plenary, the industry committed funds and resources to address challenges...
Fact #24: In August 2007 Turkey was welcomed as a participant in the Kimberley Process.
 
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