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Regional Initiative against the Illegal Exploitation of Natural Resources



The Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources in (Bundesanstalt für Geowissenschaften und Rohstoffe: BGR) is the central geoscientific authority providing advice to the German Federal Government in all geo-relevant questions. BGR which reports to the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) is committed to sustainable use of natural resources and protection of the human habitat.

Since 2011, BGR has been commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) to support the ICGLR and associated stakeholders in adopting the Analytical Fingerprinting (AFP) method as an optional forensic tool within the Regional Certification Mechanism as one component of the overall support module within the joint German Support Program. In this context, BGR acts as an implementing organization of the German Federal Government in cooperation with ICGLR. The BGR module is based on two components:

Component 1 - the Analytical Fingerprint (AFP): The AFP is an optional checking instrument for traceability beyond standard documentary system and is embedded in the Regional Certification Mechanism. The optional checking might be triggered in case independent auditors are in doubt of the plausibility of data in the standard RCM-documents. The AFP is based on a comparison of characteristic geochemical features of an ore concentrate sample in doubt to data from reference samples of the indicated origin which is given in the standard certification documents. Data of reference samples from many mine sites within the ICGLR region are stored in a continuously growing reference sample database. The application of the AFP within the Regional Certification Mechanism will increase the credibility of the latter as the AFP is independent from document-based traceability approaches. For regional implementation the ICGLR’s Analytical Fingerprint Management Unit (AMU) is established and based at ICGLR Headquarters in Bujumbura.

Component 2 - the Regional Certification Mechanism (RCM): The second component of the BGR project deals with the institutionalization of the Regional Certification Mechanism (RCM) in selected member states of the ICGLR, a tracking system within producer countries ensures that minerals originate from certified mine sites. Additional monitoring and inspection activities of national authorities ensure the compliance with the ICGLR Regional Certification Mechanism protocols. Well-developed concepts from ICGLR Member States are transferred – and adjusted if necessary - to other Member States in order to share the experiences of their peers. BGR Experts consult and coach national authorities of selected member countries on their way of implementing the Regional Certification Mechanism.

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