Tiffany Marks Success of Sierra Leone Project

Tiffany and Co. held an event Dec. 3 at its flagship store in New York to “celebrate the success” of the Tiffany and Co. Foundation’s support for FESS, The Foundation for Environmental Security and Sustainability, a governmental organization that reclaims land in Sierra Leone previously used for mining.
 
The project has put into motion a process to empower communities in Sierra Leone to reclaim land, develop alternative land use, increase food and livelihood security, and reduce the potential for conflict, a Tiffany statement said.
 
“By reclaiming mined-out diamond areas, we’re helping heal the scars of Sierra Leone and creating a new future for the people of Sierra Leone,” said Darci Glass-Royal, chairman of FESS, “Formerly pitted, unusable land now yields jobs, stability and food for the country.”
 
The event was attended by officials from Sierra Leone, including its U.S. ambassador, the Paramount Chief of the Kono Region, Paul Ngaba Saquee V, and singer-songwriter Ben Jelen who is known for his commitment to environmental causes..
 
The event premiered a short film documentary, which showed how the communities in Sierra Leone have reclaimed their land at three project sites, and put it to agricultural use.
 
“When land reclamation takes place and is followed by agriculture, artisanal mining begins to lose its character as the employment of last resort for all-too-numerous jobless youths,” said Daniel Gbondo, FESS field representative in Sierra Leone. “Artisanal mining will continue for some time to come, but with land reclamation, the serious hazards posed by mining pits are significantly reduced, and artisanal mining can continue as part of a balanced transition for the region.”