The Global Battery Alliance’s Cobalt Action Partnership (GBA CAP) the CAP Project Management Office (PMO) and the CAP Steering Committee are pleased to announce the release of the Report from Stakeholder Consultations on the Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining Cobalt ESG Management Framework (“Report”). The consultation and report were commissioned by the CAP with the intention of learning from stakeholders – within the DRC, as well as actors across the global cobalt supply chain – how the Framework could be modified to achieve our shared goals. The hope is that this report will provide all stakeholders with helpful insights into how we might work together to improve conditions at ASM mine sites in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and establish responsible ASM cobalt value chains. We encourage all stakeholders to carefully read the report so that, as a sector comprised of government, industry, and civil society stakeholders, we can modify and improve our approaches for collective action.
Background on the consultation process:
The CAP has supported the development of expectations for ASM cobalt that can be recognized by all stakeholders within the DRC (including the artisanal sector, as well as regulatory bodies) and global actors throughout the supply chain – with the ultimate goal of promoting the incorporation of ASM into global supply chains, through a model that encourages investment and collaboration. The Framework comprises a set of expectations and clear, viable, and progressive requirements with the goal of helping to build a more inclusive and responsible cobalt supply chain. It is intended to align with existing national and international laws and standards, serving as a pathway to meeting more stringent expectations over time with partnership and investment. The Framework is open-access and can be used to assess progress over time and to establish uniform criteria that can be recognized and understood by all global and local stakeholders.
The organizations supporting the development of the Framework believe that creating an effective and inclusive framework – which is mutually accepted and recognized by global and local stakeholders – can only be achieved if affected stakeholders, particularly those in producing areas, are engaged, and recognized. For this reason, a global stakeholder consultation was commissioned as a first step to incorporate local voices, priorities, and insights from key stakeholders across the value chain.
The CAP Project Management Office developed a draft Terms of Reference (TOR) for running a public consultation on the Framework, which was approved by the CAP Steering Committee in early 2021. The non-governmental organizations IMPACT and RESOLVE were selected to implement the consultation on behalf of the GBA CAP, in coordination with the Responsible Cobalt Initiative (RCI). IMPACT was the lead for Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)-based consultations, RESOLVE was the lead for English-speaking international consultations, and both organizations coordinated with RCI, which managed Chinese-language consultations for mid-stream refiners and stakeholders on the Framework. Following the consultation, IMPACT and RESOLVE consolidated the findings from the DRC-based and English-speaking consultations into a final report for publication. RCI will consolidate findings from the Chinese language consultations and share the results in a separate report. Both reports will be available on the consultation website.
The IMPACT- and RESOLVE-led consultations engaged 145 organizations in the DRC and internationally that generously contributed their expertise and time to review the Framework. The national consultation process was comprised of workshops, individual interviews, focus groups, technical group meetings, and in-person consultations held in Lubumbashi, Kolwezi, and Kinshasa, DRC. The international consultation provided multiple pathways for the global industry, civil society, multi stakeholder initiatives, and international organizations to share feedback via an online survey and online comment form, and virtual workshops. The consultation also leveraged one-on-one interviews and group webinars organized in partnership with industry associations. This consultation was conducted from June-July 2021, with consolidation of feedback and report writing in August 2021, and translations and formatting in September 2021. The consultations resulted in extensive, insightful, and valuable feedback on the Framework and the GBA CAP’s approach to implementation. In line with the CAP’s goals of transparency and sharing key learnings with stakeholders in real-time, the CAP’s goal was to have the report translated and delivered to stakeholders soon after the completion of the consultation process.
Next steps: In the coming weeks, the CAP Steering Committee will be sharing information on how these findings will influence the CAP’s governance structure, process, and future actions. The report provides a wealth of insights and perspectives that need to be carefully considered. It will take several weeks to closely examine these and determine our response and future actions. We make this report available to all stakeholders to share these important perspectives in the hope that the report will contribute to future collaborative efforts to achieve a responsible ASM cobalt supply chain. We greatly appreciate the time, resources, and feedback that stakeholders contributed to this consultation process. We look forward to working with all stakeholders to find tangible ways to collaborate on these critical issues and support your objectives to increase investment and opportunities in the ASM cobalt sector. The Cobalt Action Partnership Steering Committee
Read full Report from Stakeholder Consultations on the Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining Cobalt ESG Management Framework here.