Coral sector must be vocal advocate for responsible environmental practices
The Pacific Precious Coral Forum, which is taking place February 17-18 in the Taiwanese capital, has drawn together government officials, scientists and members of the fishing and jewellery industries from Taiwan, Japan, China, Hong Kong, Thailand, Morocco, Italy and Monaco. It is focused on the biology of precious coral and the sustainable use of resources, through academic research, management methods and fishery techniques. The forum is co-organized by the Taiwanese Fisheries Agency and Council of Agriculture, together with the Taiwan Precious Coral Association, with the support of the Taiwan Jewellery Industry Association.
“We, the jewellery industry, have experience of joining hands with civil society to show that the precious objects we produce are a force for good, and while we may create non-essential products, we are an essential industry,” Dr Cavalieri said. “People need to associate coral jewellery with good environmental management. Environmentally conscious consumers should go out of their way to purchase precious coral jewellery, and certainly not avoid it.”
A Precious Coral Working Group was created within CIBJO in 2012, and Dr Cavalieri proposed that it be elevated to the status of a full CIBJO Commission, which would be charged with creating a set of international accepted standards and nomenclature, within the framework of a new CIBJO Blue Book. The president of the Precious Coral Working Group, Enzo Liverino, also participated in the forum.
“The harmonisation of industry standards is key component of CIBJO’s mission,” Dr Cavalieri stated. “This always has been an important factor, but it has become even more so as the world economy has globalized, and international trade has become the dominant component of our business. Quite simply, what is understood in one country or market needs to be understood perfectly in others.”
“Clear, reasonable and internationally accepted standards need to be established that will decide what treatments and enhancements must be disclosed each time a gem changes hands. Furthermore, the method of disclosure needs to be decided so that it will means the same thing in Asia, as it means in Europe, the Americas and Africa,” the CIBJO President continued.
“The creation of such system would ideally be done by a committee of industry experts, and from our perspective the right forum would be a Precious Coral Commission working within the CIBJO framework. It would be able to make decisions that receive automatic international acceptance,” Dr Cavalieri said.
The CIBJO’s president’s proposal was received warmly by attendees at the Pacific Precious Coral Forum, and was supported by Ming-Li Hung, President of the Taiwan Jewellery Industry Association, who agreed to seek full membership as a national association in CIBJO, and work toward the establishment of the CIBJO Precious Coral Commission at the upcoming CIBJO Congress in Moscow, which will take place May 19-21, 2014.