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Archive for the ‘Development’ Category

A Tribute from US Senate floor

We are both honored and flattered that Senator Dick Durbin recognized our work in support of responsible sourcing, human rights and the environment on the Senate floor on February 28th. We believe that taking a stand on any of the subjects we tackle and engaging where we can is the least we can do, both as […]

An ethical failure at the UN

Anders Kompass recently resigned from the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights ending a 17-year career as the director of field operations. Why? He reported on the sexual abuse of children by peacekeepers in Central African Republic in 2014 and was punished by his superiors for doing so. At Leber Jeweler, we’ve worked on a […]

A River Runs…Orange

Gold mining. That’s to blame. In this case, a contractor, working for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) inadvertently let loose 3 million gallons of heavy metal-filled waste water that has turned the Animas River in Southern Colorado orange. The Gold King Mine near Silverton, Colorado, is one of a large number of abandoned small mines […]

Burmese gem trade also bad for the environment

It’s well documented that gemstones from Burma are fueling violent conflict in Kachin state and funding a variety of questionable entities. In addition to these reports from Kachin, hundreds of residents in Mogok, the main ruby producing area in Burma, are protesting plans by the Mogok Gems Traders Association to build a new headquarters and possibly a gemstone […]

The Voice of a Small-Scale Miner

We’ve long worked with small-scale gem mining projects that help support Malawi. In fact, if you asked me to name the poster child for best practices in this sector, I’d point to my friend’s years of tireless leadership effort in this African nation’s gem mining sector. The miners who are the first rung of the global supply […]

Illinois has been Fracked

“Fracking is not a bridge to the future. It is a plank on which we walk blindfolded at the point of a sword. There is no right way to do it. And the pirates are not our friends.”  -Sandra Steingraber  the author of Living Downstream. As with all bad or unpopular news, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources quietly […]

Carrots or karats?

A new study has examined whether artisanal gold mining really is a “sustainable” option and if farmers (in this case, cocoa farmers in Ghana) should be giving up their fields to pursue the quest for gold. Through our consulting work with local villages in developing nations, we’ve often suggested that many communities are better served by focusing on truly sustainable activities […]

Remembering an Activist

This post isn’t about jewelry. It’s about remembering the life of an ordinary citizen who helped change so very much. Most people have never heard of James “Jimmy” Weekley, of Blair, West Virginia, who died last week at the age of 74. But Mr. Weekley was the kind of activist we admire most. Mr. Weekley was one […]

What Is The Right Thing To Do?

“We do not have a right to ask if what we do will succeed or not, the only question we have a right to ask is what is the right thing to do. ” – Wendell Berry Happy birthday Mr. Berry!

Mining Company Sues to Protect their Right to Despoil Nature

The US Environmental Protection Agency has announced proposed restrictions that would essentially block a potentially damaging gold and copper mine in Alaska. In what sounds like a story from The Onion, Pebble Limited Partnership, along with the state of Alaska, are now suing the EPA. According to EPA regional administrator Dennis McLerran, “mining the Pebble deposit would […]