Monday, November 12, 2007
This week the BLAB meeting will be held in BENSON upstairs in CONF 209, from 5-5:30.
Please come to the meeting, it won't be long, but we need to discuss ideas for our next activities and how to end this quarter on a high note! This is the second to last meeting of the semester--if you have yet to join us for a meeting, now is the time!
I look forward to seeing you there!
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
For those of you who didn't make it to Sustainability Day, you missed out! The afternoon was a success for BLAB, gaining new interested members and making contacts with other great Green, Sustainable businesses and organizations.
This week, we will be having our meeting Thursday Nov 1 at 5:00pm in Kennedy 109, to recap what we did on Sustainability day as well as begin to focus on our next project. Please come and add your suggestions! We want to make this next project great!
Enjoy Halloween but stay safe!
Monday, October 15, 2007
Just to keep you all on your toes:
This week we are going to have a slight change in pace, and rather than the usual would-be Wednesday meeting, we will be holding a Poster Making Party THIS SATURDAY the 20th at NOON at 745 Locust St (by Safeway) instead. We will be making posters and fliers for Sustainability Day (which is Wednesday the 24th from 2-4pm), discussing our presentation and plan of action, and overall finalizing our plans for Sustainability Day.
RSVP if you can, and maybe I'll get some snacks...
**Bring your clean plastic bags and we will recycle!**
On a side note, a few BLABers are attending BODY WORLDS 2 and the Three Pound Gem at the San Jose Tech Center this Wednesday at 7 (usual meeting time) to take advantage of the FREE NIGHT WITH SCU ID! If anyone would like to go and would like a ride, let me know, there is room in the car for a few more! FREE ADMISSION TO THE TECH MUSUEM!!!
Check out more about BODY WORLDS atwww.thetech.org and www.bodyworlds.
Peace and Good Wishes--Let's all think Karma people!
Hope to see you all Saturday at Noon!
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
Hope everyone is feelin groovy as week four creeps through--good luck to all those who are having midterms!
This week we will be having our BLAB meeting at 6:00 in KENNEDY 108 this THURSDAY the 11th.
We will be discussing our exact plans for sustainability day and splitting up jobs to prepare--Right now the plan is to sell our KIVA tshirts and use a laptop to show students our KIVA page and those we donate to/how to donate, as well as create an expo about recycling/reusing plastic bags including where to recycle, where to get reusable bags, what businesses are reusing the bags, etc. We would also like to promote on campus plastic bag recycling/reusable bags/biodegradable plastic. We will need to make posters, fact/resource fliers, etc.
Look forward to seeing you all there and hoping that we get some new faces on this Thursday date!
Welcome all, even if you've yet to make a meeting!
Monday, October 1, 2007
We will be having our second meeting this week on Wednesday in Kennedy 108 at 7pm. We will be talking more about projects that we want to be doing this semester, discussing our work with KIVA and t-shirt sales, and more--so please come! We're trying to put some of our ideas into action and we need everyones help! The Sustainability Fair is coming up at the end of October and I think BLAB could do some sort of demonstration or event that week to help gain awareness/members.
Note: For those of you who are unable to make it to Wednesday meetings but still want to be involved, do not despair. You can keep updated by checking out our website http://blab-scu.blogspot.com/ AND WE WILL BE HOLDING MEETINGS ON THURSDAYS EVERY FEW WEEKS also, so as to try to get as many people involved as possible.
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Hope To See You There,
Sunday, February 11, 2007
What are Conflict Diamonds?
- Conflict – also known as “blood” – diamonds have been used by rebel groups to fund brutal conflicts in
Africa, resulting in the death and displacement of millions of people
- Conflict diamonds caused rebel group Revolutionary United Front (RUF) to chop off body parts of countless innocent men, women, and children in
between 1991 to 2002 after seizing control of the diamond mines to deter locals from supporting the government Sierra Leone
- Conflict diamonds are also used by terrorist groups such as Al-Qaeda to finance their activities and for money laundering purposes
- Wars fueled by conflict diamonds have killed over 4 million people, destroyed countries, and displaced millions more in
Angola, Sierra Leone, the DRC, Liberia, and now in Ivory Coast
What is the Kimberley Process?
- The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme Is an international governmental certification scheme set up in 2003 in an effort to stop conflict diamonds from entering the legitimate trade under pressure from Global Witness and other NGOs
- Flaws and loopholes in the
process as well as weak governmental controls allow conflict diamonds to continue leaking into the market today Kimberley
- What is the status of conflict diamonds today?
- $23 million in conflict diamonds from the
Ivory Coastare being smuggled into international diamond markets through Ghanaand , where they are certified as conflict free, according to a recent UN report Mali
- Conflict diamonds currently make up 15% - 20% of the total diamond trade in
according to Global Witness Sierra Leone
How has the diamond industry reacted to conflict diamonds?
- The diamond industry claims only 4% of the global diamond trade originated from conflict zones at the peak of the problem in the 1990’s, but the UN estimates conflict diamonds made up as much as 15%
- The diamond industry has a voluntary system of warranties that is more of a PR exercise than a credible system
- The diamond industry, worth $60 billion in 2005, had agreed to police itself in support of the Kimberley Process (for certifying diamonds), but it has not made a change in the way it operates to make sure that diamonds never again fuel conflict
Diamond Retailer Statistics:
In 2004, Amnesty International and Global Witness conducted a survey of 246 diamond retailers in 50 cities across 18 states. The following is an excerpt of their report:
- Only 27% of shops were able assure us that they had a policy on conflict diamonds.
- 30% of the shops that said they had a policy were unable to produce a hard copy of or explain it.
- Only 13% of shops provided warranties to their customers as a standard practice.
- 37% of the shops we visited claimed to be aware of the conflict diamonds issue. But 54% of them reported an inaccurate definition of the crisis.
- Only 28% of the shops were aware of the Kimberley Process.
- 29% of those who were aware of the Kimberley Process had only a minimal or limited understanding of it.
- When asked whether consumers inquired about conflict diamonds, 83% of respondents answered rarely or never.
- 110 shops refused outright to take the survey.
What can I do to help combat conflict diamonds?
Consumers play a pivotal role in stopping conflict diamonds in entering the market. Amnesty International suggests asking your jeweler the following questions when purchasing a diamond:
- How can I be sure that none of your jewelry contains conflict diamonds?
- Do you know where the diamonds you sell come from?
- Can I see a copy of your company’s policy on conflict diamonds?
- Can you show me a written guarantee from your diamond suppliers stating that your diamonds are conflict-free?
For more information, download the Diamond Buyer’s Guide from Amnesty International.
What if I want to do more? Where do I start?
Check out the following websites for more information and guides to help you take further action:
Global Witness – an NGO committed to “exposing the corrupt exploitation of natural resources and international trade systems, to drive campaigns that end impunity, resource-linked conflict, and human rights and environmental abuses”
Amnesty International – conflict diamond statistics and petition and survey templates
Blood Diamond Action – a collaborative website produced by Global Witness, Amnesty International, and the Blood Diamond movie. Check the “download” section for fact sheets and study guides
DiamondFacts.org – a site with a plethora of information about diamonds… but bear in mind that diamondfacts.org is actually created by members of the diamond industry and the information should be checked against other unbiased resources
African Diamond Producing Country Profiles
- Civil war from 1961–2002
- Rebel Group UNITA controlled 60–70% of diamond mines
- The war cost at least 500,000 lives
- UN Security Council diamond sanctions imposed in 1998, lifted in 2002
- Civil war from 1998–2003 and is still volatile
- Rebel groups competed for diamond-rich areas
- The war cost over 3 million lives
- UN sanctions on diamonds were never imposed
- Civil war from 1991–2002
- Rebel group RUF controlled lucrative mines, exporting as much as $125 million of diamonds exported annually
- The war cost at least 50,000 lives
- UN Security Council diamond sanctions imposed in 2000, lifted in 2003
- Conflict diamonds still make up 15% - 20% of the total diamond trade in
- Civil war from 1989–1997 and from 2000–2003
- Used as a channel for exporting conflict diamonds from neighboring
- The war cost at least 200,000 lives and displaced 1 million
- UN Security Council diamond sanctions imposed in 2001, reapplied annually and most recently in October 2006
Saturday, February 10, 2007
From February 12 -14, BLAB and the Fair Trade Coalition will be co-sponsoring a special "Sustainable Valentine's Day" candy sale.
BLAB will be selling Ring Pops to raise awareness about conflict (blood) diamonds in Africa – the politics involved, the role of the diamond industry, the victims of the illegal diamond trade, and what consumers can do to ensure that diamonds are purchased from “clean” sources.
Proceeds from the Ring Pop sales will be donated to the Prosthetics Outreach Foundation, a rehabilitation program that provides prosthetic limbs to amputated victims in Sierra Leone.
Make sure to stop by Benson and buy a Ring Pop! And don't forget to join Facebook group: POP the Question! Is Your Diamond Conflict Free?