Report by ICA Ambassador to Colombia
Report by ICA Ambassador to Colombia
Idolfo Romero Rodríguez
Concluding Remarks on the Second World Emerald Symposium
I would like to thank to all the participants and speakers who came together this October in Bogota for the Second World Emerald Symposium. Together, we are taking colored gemstones—and especially our beloved emeralds—forward. I also want to extend a special word of thanks to CIBJO, Fedesmeraldas, the National Federation of Emeralds of Colombia, CDTEC, Colombia’s leading gemological institute, APRECOL and its team leader Edwin Molina for his invaluable initiatives to the sector, and Jean Claude Michelou, our Senior Advisor and International Coordinator.
Among the participants from around the world, there was a strong presence of ICA members, including board members and advisors such as Philippe Scordia, Stephan Reif, Gabriel Angarita, and Jean Claude Michelou, as well as current ICA president Clement Sabbagh, along with past ICA presidents Joe Menzie, Wilson Yuen, and Roland Naftule. Many other ICA members were also present as participants and speakers. Without prejudice to the many productive and interesting presentations and progress in many areas during this symposium, I would like to share a number of takeaways with you.
1. At the opening of the symposium, the CRIRSCO (Committee for Mineral Reserves International Reporting Standards) announced that it would adopt guidelines to standardize methods for emerald exploration and reduce the level of uncertainty for interested investors. I look forward to all the projects currently underway and those that are upcoming in order to have clear guidance with reporting standards of geological information and to collaborate on this fantastic initiative.
2. The Vice Minister of the Colombian Mines and Energy Ministry is encouraging the industry to create mining clusters and connect them with responsible supply chains. These endeavors will be great action points for the next few years.
3. The OECD participated in the symposium for the first time. Its representative expressed the organization’s support for the emerald sector and invited the companies to adopt the OECD Guidance on mineral supply chains, in which the emerald sector actively participated at the recent Forum in Paris. This support is expected for the implementation of the Guidance for the Colored Gemstone sector.
4. APRECOL SOCIAL has been created to support projects on a regional basis in due diligence strategy for artisanal emerald mining and the social impact of mining activities in Boyacá.
5. I am happy to relate that CEIPA, the Colombian Emeralds International Producers Association, will represent the sector internationally.
6. And, who could ever have imagined that blockchain would be used in the emerald sector to demonstrate the importance of origin of the green stones.
7. On the second day of the symposium, we saw the importance of adopting Good Business Practices and Adding Value through these practices. The impact of this guidance remains crucial to the sector. The decision of LVMH, represented by Cathelijne Klomp, to create opportunities and value together in the sourcing of colored gemstones was greatly welcomed.
8. The Responsible Jewellery Council reminded all participants at the 2WES of the vital role that local governments and civil society play when it comes to the implementation of Best Practices on the ground. Developing standards for emeralds and other minerals is currently underway by the RJC.
9. One very important aspect of the symposium was the opportunity to bring people together for good networking and making new friendships and future business alliances.
10. I also want to remind everyone of the beautiful landscape of Boyacá and how much those who participated in visits to the many mines in the area enjoyed their experiences.
Some of the participants and organizers of the Second World Emerald Symposium, left to right: Idolfo Romero Rodríguez (ICA Ambassador to Colombia & advisor to APRECOL), Clement Sabbagh (ICA President), Edwin Molina (president APRECOL), Carlos Molina, Edwin’s father and patriarch of the family, a guest, Oscar Baquero, president Fedesmeraldas, Alvaro Rojas, president AsocoEmeral.