As a Swiss based non-profit organisation, RESP is governed by its Articles of Association and by the Swiss Civil Code.

RESP’s governance structure is defined in its Articles of Association and reflects the values, goals, and ambitions of the organisation. It is constituted of four main decision-making bodies: the General Assembly, the Executive Committee, the International Working Groups and the Secretariat.

General Assembly

The General Assembly includes all members and is the supreme decision-making body of RESP.

It meets once a year to review the progress of RESP towards meeting its mission and objectives and takes appropriate decisions regarding the overall direction and implementation strategy of the organisation.

The General Assembly appoints the President, Vice-President and Secretary as well as the members of the Executive Committee.

In addition, the General Assembly is the competent body to determine the membership fees, approve the annual budget and amend the Articles of the Association.

Executive Committee

The Executive Committee is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day management operations of RESP along the lines determined by the General Assembly.

Composed of at least five members, it is elected by the General Assembly and includes the President, Vice-President and Secretary.

The Executive Committee appoints the Executive Director, approves RESP work program and oversees ongoing issues such as finance, program delivery and membership issues.

International Working Groups

Active involvement by members in the RESP’s work program is achieved through international working groups.

International Working Groups are created to respond to the priorities established by the General Assembly with regards to the natural resource groups that RESP should focus on.

For the 2013-2018 Strategy Plan, four International Working Groups have been formed to address the following natural resources groups:

RESP has four IWGs :

  1. Reptile skins
  2. Wool fibres
  3. Natural ingredients
  4. Coloured gemstones

Each International Working Group is chaired by a member of RESP, and has decision-making power to set priorities on value chain-specific issues, species and countries, as well as to approve the implementation of new projects.

International Working Groups make recommendations to the General Assembly on direction, strategy, prospective members and budgetary issues.


RESP has a permanent Secretariat managed by the Executive Director who reports to the Executive Committee.

The Secretariat is responsible for coordinating the work of RESP, including day-to-day progress on work programs, coordination of the International Working Groups, relationships with members, communications, external representation and administration of staff and budgets.