Friday, June 18, 2021

De Beers, Forevermark promote environment and wildlife conservation

The recent celebration of the International Day for Biological Diversity as well as the upcoming World Environment Day, are two important days on the De Beers safety and sustainability calendar. While the two are listed separately on the global calendar, De Beers recognises them together, and celebrates them in both May and June.
World Environment Day is celebrated every year on the 5th of June to raise global awareness of the need to take positive action to protect the environment.
The theme for 2015 is how the well-being of humanity, the environment and economies ultimately depend on the responsible management of the planet’s natural resources. Evidence is building that people are consuming far more natural resources than what the planet can sustainably provide.
Not only is it important to protect the environment but also to protect the various wildlife species that live in it. At the recent Simmons Philanthropic Summit in New York, CEO of Forevermark, Stephen Lussier gave insights into the importance of protecting the environment and wildlife, especially in Botswana.
“Both diamonds and wildlife share the concept of forever, and when it comes to wildlife, the concept of forever depends on what we do today to make sure wildlife species have a future, which is indeed forever,” indicates Lussier.
The Forevermark’s promise of beautiful, rare and responsibly sourced diamonds goes a lot deeper than just ensuring the diamonds are conflict free. Responsible sourcing includes being proactive in Forevermark’s contribution, particularly to the communities in developing worlds, to the communities where diamonds are sourced and to the communities where they are cut and polished.
This is where the connection to wildlife conservation and Forevermark begins and those areas in the world where Forevermark diamonds are sourced. However, in reality, the connection goes a lot deeper than this; the De Beers Group’s wildlife conservation literally goes back to the foundation of the group in 1888.
“Africa is the place where De Beers has its roots, it is the place where the vast majority of our De Beers employees live and work, it’s their communities in Africa, and it is the place where the vast majority of diamonds, which become Forevermark diamonds, begin their journey to the world,” continues Lussier.
Tourism in Botswana depends on wildlife and the conservation of wildlife in the long term. Not only do wildlife species need to be protected but the environment in which they live in needs to be protected too. Alongside the Government of Botswana, De Beers and Debswana are focusing on the long-term protection of the environment and wildlife species in Botswana is that, for every piece of land where diamond mining takes place, an additional seven times that space is set aside for biodiversity and wildlife.
In addition, De Beers’ award-winning Diamond Route programme contributes 250,000 hectares towards biodiversity conservation, which is unique in the mining industry.
“The Diamond Route is a programme that connects different bits of land that stretch all the way from Namibia in the west, through South Africa into Botswana and includes a number of the De Beers Group’s operations. It is focused entirely on biodiversity and wildlife. Today, there are approximately six hundred thousand acres set aside for this purpose, across Southern Africa,” concludes Lussier.
De Beers has also recently revised its environmental standards, to ensure that these standards reflect global best practice environmental processes and highlight their focus in biodiversity management. This includes the full operational lifecycle from exploration and closure as well as environmental elements including water, biodiversity, climate change, waste and emissions.

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