When Eskimo schoolchildren in Alaska recently took to the streets protesting the opening of the proposed Pebble Mine for Alaska's Bristol Bay watershed, the truth is that the prospects for their success looked grim indeed. But they got a welcomed boost this Valentine's season from an unexpected group of benefactors with a newfound appreciation for what this particular mine will do to damage the world's largest sockeye salmon run. The group, of course, includes the folks at Tiffany's, Helzberg Diamonds and Fortunoff. And they're taking a "Bristol Bay Protection Pledge" which marks a new front in the "No Dirty Gold" initiative being waged by environmental and human rights groups to combat destructive mining practices. Essentially, it's the first time that retailers have joined in a campaign to halt a specific mine instead of the usual support for more general guidelines for mining practices.
Intriguingly, an estimated 80% of the gold used in the U.S. today is for the creation of jewelry, and gold mines produce an average of 76 tons of waste per ounce of gold.
And as Michael Kowalski, Tiffany's chairman and chief executive told the LA Times recently, "There are places where mining does not represent the best use of resources. In Bristol Bay, we support . . . the salmon fishery as the best bet for sustainable, long-term benefit. For Tiffany & Co., and we believe for many of our fellow retail jewelers, this means we will look to other places to source gold."
The fight's most certainly not over yet in Bristol Bay, but this represents a huge, positive step in the right direction.
via:: LA Times