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Though Blood Diamond deals with the violence of the conflict diamond trade, it's not the end of the story. In 2002, the international diamond industry and governments around the world enacted the Kimberly Process, a voluntary self-regulating plan to stamp out the illegal diamond trade.

According to the World Diamond Council, 71 countries have ratified and adopted the Kimberley Process. Participants are held responsible for tracking raw diamonds, while companies agree not to purchase stones from countries where the profits contribute to abuses. Sources say the flow of conflict diamonds has been slowed to 1 percent of the industry.

With those protections, diamond-producing countries have benefited. Botswana has built schools and provides education and healthcare. In South Africa, diamond companies fund free HIV screening and treatment programs for their 19,000 employees and their families. Profits from diamond mining have helped build new schools, providing a formal education for close to 12,000 students. And in Sierra Leone, the legal trade of conflict-free diamonds is helping to jump-start the economy.

"This is a wonderful circumstance in which the public was able, by virtue of their awareness, to create something that has changed the world. And it's a process that has to go further," Ed says. "You can sit there when you walk into a diamond dealer, to a jeweler, you can say, 'I want to see a warranty. I want to see a certificate.' And you can make a difference that will affect thousands of lives."
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FROM: What Leonardo DiCaprio Wants You to Know
Published on December 04, 2006

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