Identifying conflict-affected and high-risk areas for EU importers of minerals

Mining of gems, gold and sapphires in the Ihorombe Region of Madagascar, photo by homocosmicos/Adobe Stock

homocosmicos/Adobe Stock

What is the issue?

Natural mineral resources can be a driver of development, generating income and economic growth for local economies, but can also contribute to the outbreak of violent conflicts and the exploitation of local communities.

The European Union (EU) is committed to ensuring that its imports of minerals and metals are sourced responsibly and align with European policies on conflict prevention and development. In light of this commitment, Regulation (EU) 2017/821 (“the Regulation”) requires EU importers of tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold (and the minerals containing them) to carry out supply chain due diligence based on the five-step approach established by the OECD.

How are we helping?

The European Commission Directorate General for Trade (DG TRADE) has contracted RAND Europe to conduct a project for the provision of an indicative, non-exhaustive and regularly updated list of conflict-affected and high-risk areas (as set out in Article 14(2) of the Regulation). The objective of this project is to develop and maintain updated such a list of CAHRAs to facilitate the calibration of due diligence efforts made by EU importers of the relevant metals and minerals.

How will we proceed?

The project will be delivered in multiple phases and will involve:

  • Developing a methodology to identify CAHRAs
  • Developing an online platform and visualisation tools to make the information available
  • Establishing the first indicative and non-exhaustive list of CAHRAs
  • Updating the list quarterly

The project team will employ a mixed-methods approach including desk-based research, semi-structured interviews, validation workshops and webinars, mapping exercises, the development of a process flow and analytical methodology, and web interface development sprints and testing. Consultations and validation activities with relevant stakeholders will be conducted throughout the duration of the project.