ABOVE: CIBJO’s Coral Commission in session on November 20, at the 2019 CIBJO Congress in Bahrain.
NOVEMBER 20, 2019
The increasing use of DNA sequencing technology jewellery sector was focused during the Coral Commission session at the CIBJO Congress on November 19, with the body’s Vice President, Kenneth Scarratt giving a presentation on an ongoing project taking place at different laboratories.
The Coral Commission’s President is Vincenzo Liverino.
DNA fingerprinting is a powerful tool for species identification and possibly geographic determination, and has proven effective if addressing misconceptions that reef coral is the same as precious coral. Most of the DNA analysis has been outsourced to university labs that specialise in it.
“We have had some good results regarding the species of the specimens submitted.,” Mr Scarratt noted. “Work done at DANAT has shown that trace element analysis can determine the species or at least confirm that DNA analysis conforms. However, it is time consuming and expensive work.”
Meanwhile, a second Coral Commission Vice President, Rui Galopim de Carvalho, discussed proposed edits to the CIBJO Coral Blue Book. “We did some significant changes that were proposed to the Steering Committee. Most changes related to terms and definitions.”
The Commission also looked at the issue of carbon neutrality, which can be achieved by purchasing carbon credits that offset greenhouse gas emission. Mr. Liverino explained the financial and environmental benefits of taking part in the CIBJO-led Greenhouse Gas Measurement Initiative project.
“What have companies actually done to achieve it? Goal 13 of the UN SDGs is Climate Action – in other words doing something and not just talking. It’s a question of the planet’s health. It is gaining increasing public awareness. Move from heating from fuel to gas, become more energy efficient, be aware of best business practices, pay a carbon tax, and consider an environmental budget. This requires urgent action,” Mr Galopim de Carvalho said.
Mr Galopim de Carvalho also gave an update on CIBJO’s Precious Corals Online Course. The final proposal for the programme was finalised and submitted last year to the CIBJO Board of Directors, he said, but it need revising before it can be released.