• Avenue du Japon. no. 38
  • (00257) 22 25 6824

Regional Initiative against the Illegal Exploitation of Natural Resources

Background

The Great Lakes Region is a frequently cited example of the paradox of plenty. On the one hand, it disposes of a substantial amount of natural resources which are in great demand on the global market. On the other hand, the region’s recent history has been marked by the disastrous effects of armed conflicts. So far, the abundance of natural resources has not yet been transformed into inclusive socio-economic wellbeing.

The key problem of this predicament is the missing linkage between the supply chain of natural resources and the formal economy of the ICGLR Member States. The exploitation and trade within the region are all too frequently conducted illegally. Consequently, the wealth deriving from natural resources is very unequally distributed and often finances rebel activities which further destabilise the region.

The foundation of the Regional Initiative against the Illegal Exploitation of Natural Resources (RINR)

In response to the persistent problem of socio-economic inequality and the trade of conflict minerals,  the ICGLR has developed a comprehensive approach to put an end to the exploitative use of natural resources. The Regional Initiative against the Illegal Exploitation of Natural Resources (RINR), - referred to as the Initiative,- particularly aims at breaking the link between mineral revenues and rebel financing.

As part of the Pact on Security, Stability and Development in the Great Lakes Region, which was signed by the twelve Heads of State in Nairobi on the 15th of December  2006, the Protocol on the Fight against the Illegal Exploitation of Natural Resources outlines the actions that Member States have agreed to take. This Protocol provides the legal basis for the implementation of the Initiative which conversely aims at translating the Protocol into concrete actions.

Four years after the signing of the Pact of Nairobi, the ICGLR Heads of State and Government further committed themselves to this pressing issue by holding a Special Summit in Lusaka, Zambia. At this occasion, they decided upon the use of six specific tools which the Initiative shall put into practice. Furthermore, this Special Summit served as a forum to expand partnerships with other relevant programs in the domain of natural resource exploitation such as the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict Affected and High Risk Areas.

 

The approach of the RINR

In general, the Initiative promotes dialogue between the ICGLR Member States on issues related to the illegal exploitation of natural resources and provides them with tools aimed at breaking the link between armed conflicts and revenues from  natural resources. The principal approach is the setup of a regional certification system for tin, tantalum, tunsgten and gold, commonly known as 3TGs. The supply chains of these minerals which have proven to be related to armed conflicts will be audited and certified within the framework of the ICGLR Regional Certification Mechanism which is the core tool of the Initiative.

Successes achieved by the RINR

Despite being a relatively new Initiative, the RINR has already achieved some remarkable successes in its fight against the illegal exploitation of natural resources in the Great Lakes Region.

To begin with, a certification manual has been developed and approved by the 12 Heads of State. It provides a practical guide for the implementation of the Regional Certification Mechanism. Currently, the manual is under use in 4 out of 12 ICGLR Member States.

Another important step was the development of a t legislation model which will make it easier for ICGLR Member States to domesticate the legal provisions of the Protocol into their respective national legislations.

Also worth mentioning is the establishment of a Regional Committee on the fight against the illegal exploitation of  natural resources which has been meeting regularly since its creation as provided for in the Protocol on the Fight against the Illegal Exploitation of Natural Resources.

About Us

Follow Us