Speaking during a panel discussion that considered ideas for a global recovery from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Cavalieri pointed to the jewellery industry’s ability to empower societies and economies, particularly in economies where precious metals and gems are mined, farmed and harvested.
“Our goal must be that citizens of these countries should be able to leverage the natural resources with which they have been blessed into sustainable economic and social opportunity. Unlike in the past, where they were primarily regarded as a source of raw materials, our commitment now must be that they extend their involvement up the value chain, developing home-grown cutting and polishing industries, precious metal refineries, jewellery design and manufacturing hubs, and wholesale and retail trading networks. This does not mean undermining the existing centres. On the contrary, in an interconnected global industry we will all benefit from their development and the growth of the market in general,” Dr. Cavalieri stated.
The jewellery industry finds itself uniquely positioned to serve as a catalyst for economic and social development, Dr. Cavalieri said. All the countries in which raw materials are mined have centuries-old jewellery traditions, so the challenge is a not to create capacity in areas where none previously existed, but rather to adapt, build upon and upgrade knowledge and skills that are already present in the community. Furthermore, in certain fields, like pearl farmining, the industry can also impact positively on the region’s land and marine environment.
“The fact that the jewellery industry reaches the grass roots of almost any society means that we can play a critical role in advancing a range of the Sustainable Development Goals,” Dr. Cavalieri said. “They include SDG 1, ending poverty; SDG 5, gender equality; SDG 8, decent work and economic growth, SDG 9, industry, innovation and infrastructure; SDG 12, responsible consumption and production, SDG 13, climate action; SDG 14, life below water, SDG 15, life on land; SDG 16 peace, justice and stong institutions; and, in particular, SDG 17, partnerships for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.”