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GIMPA Professor calls for enforcement of environmental laws

Professor Charles Teye Amoatey, Director, Academy of Leadership and Executive Training at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA), has called for the enforcement of environmental laws across the continent.

He said the continent, in collaboration with the environmental protection authorities, had developed laws to preserve the planet, but enforcement had been a challenge.

The Professor said, ‘In the mining sector, we are destroying the environment with impunity, as if we are leaving the country without laws.

‘Sometimes some of these destructions of the environment are actually being influenced by some people or authorities who should know better.

‘We need to come to a point where we make the laws work with no respect for persons so that together we can preserve a future for the next generation,’ he said.

Prof Amoatey was speaking at a six-day training programme for a certificate course on the Essentials of Environment and Social Risk Management in Accra.

The programme is organ
ised by GIMPA in collaboration with the Regional Transport Research and Education Centre of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) with funding from the World Bank Group.

The training programme brought together 45 participants from the Ministries, Departments, and Agencies, and local government and public service from the African continent, including Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Gambia.

The aim of the course is to contribute to the appropriate management of environmental and social risks that can result from the implementation of projects on the continent.

The objective is to increase the uptake of environmental and social standards by governments in Africa.

Several studies have been conducted on improving results in sub-Saharan Africa, showing that government projects in the region do not achieve satisfactory environmental, social, health, and safety ratings.

Also, lack of capacity among various government institutions to implement environmental and social risk management has be
en identified as a challenge.

In response to the challenges, the Professor said they felt the need to bring all implementers of the projects in the region, to train them so they would be conscious of the environmental and social impact of their activities.

‘We want governments to take ownership of environmental risk issues and not be compelled by the World Bank to do so. We need to take ownership of our project to lead to development. We do not have to wait for the World Bank to tell us what is right,’ he said.

He advised the participants to take the session seriously, have a change of attitude, and share the knowledge acquired with their project teams for better environmental outcomes.

Professor Helen Essandoh, Director, Regional Transport Research and Education Centre, KNUST, underscored the importance of managing environmental risks, adding that the course was critically designed for project development and implementation.

Ms Michille Keane, Operations Manager for Ghana, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, Wor
ld Bank Group, said people were at the core of all development, and the objective of development projects was to have a positive impact on people and on the environment.

‘The World Bank has made its mission to not only make positive contributions to poverty reduction in economic development but also support the protection of the environment and people’s safety,’ she said.

Source: Ghana News Agency