Tiffany Stevens, President of CIBJO’s Ethics Commission said that if properly managed pearl farms offer real opportunities to individuals and communities living on small islands in the South Pacific and Indian Oceans, both from an economic perspective and in terms of protecting the marine environment.
Ms. Stevens was speaking at the 2019 Global Multi-Stakeholder SIDS Partnership Dialogue at the United Nations in New York on July 10 about the opportunities available on small islands, on behalf of CIBJO President Gaetano Cavalieri.
Ms. Stevens, who additionally is President and CEO of the Jewelers Vigilance Committee, the New York-based organization that provides legal advice, education and self-regulation services to jewelers and other members of the American jewelry industry. She added that for a cultured pearl farm to become an economically sustainable asset, it is essential that it also be operated in an environmentally sustainable manner.
Ms. Stevens also pointed to a project that Dr. Cavalieri was involved in several years ago, sponsored by the Government of French Polynesia, to reverse what had become a downward spiral in the average quality of pearls being produced by the country.
She said that the lessons learned from the Polynesian experience were applied when CIBJO was invited to consult with the Government of Fiji and the country’s Fiji Pearl Farmers’ Association in the creation of a national plan to increase the size of the island’s pearl sector, while optimizing the benefits provided to the country and its people.
Speaking to the gathering, the Ambassador of Fiji also referred to CIBJO’s support of sustainable pearl farming, insisting that all partnerships matter and no small-island developing states should be left behind.