GemHub features two signature projects focusing on different parts of the gemstone value chain.
The first signature project focuses on silicosis and other respiratory diseases in the gemstone cutting sector, and how such issues could be addressed and mitigated. This module will focus on India.
The second signature project will cover workshops with artisanal women miners and traders in South Madagascar to aid them in gem identification and processing skills.
The Gemstones and Sustainable Development Hub is partnering with 'American Gem Trade Association' (AGTA) and 'Workplace Health Without Borders' (WHWB) in seeking to improve understanding of health issues in gemstone manufacturing and implementing suitable solutions. The pilot project will be carried out in Jaipur (India) at a number of different cutting facilities, starting early 2018. This project will also benefit from the expertise of researchers based at 'the University of Queensland’s Minerals Industry Safety & Health Centre' (MISHC). It will further involve:
- Sampling and monitoring of dust and silica in selected factories, and evaluating and implementing control measures to improve conditions
- Developing educational material on prevention of silica exposure and other relevant occupational health information in gemstone cutting and polishing
The project will aim to identify cost-effective best practices that could potentially be expanded to other gemstone cutting regions.
Heritage Status for Historically Important Gemstone Producing Regions?
Dr. Laurent Cartier recently published an article in 'the Episodes Journal' (part of IUGS- International Union of Geological Sciences) on the potential of developing a heritage status to raise awareness about and support gemstone producing areas worldwide. In regions such as the Mogok Stone Tract in Burma (Myanmar), strong traditions have evolved around the mining and processing of the different gemstones. It is proposed that specific criteria and a heritage designation scheme be developed for such regions that have been outstanding producers of gemstones, in some cases for many centuries. Much as with UNESCO’s World Heritage Site programme, the aim would be to preserve the traditions of these provinces and increase cultural, scientific and touristic interest in their gemstone resources as a way of contributing to sustainable development in these regions.
The full article can be read by following this link