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Let Us Protect Our Environment — Experts To Industries   
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Industries and the public have been urged to help protect the environment from degradation and deforestation.

The Director of Policy Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation at the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI), Mrs Levina Owusu, who made the call at the Green Business Forum organised by the United Nations University Institute for Natural Resources in Africa (UNU-INRA) and SNV in Accra, said “issues of the environment should be everyone’s business because these issues affect us all.

She said “If our environment is impoverished, we will all be impoverished”, adding that businesses should aim at reducing the negative impact of their activities on the environment.

The Forum

The Green Business Forum was aimed at discussing the potential for the green businesses in Ghana; determine the challenges they face; and explore the required interventions to address the challenges.

The Green Business Forum also included an exhibition, where some entrepreneurs showcased their businesses in various areas, including energy efficiency, waste management, water purification, and agricultural machineries.

The event brought together 200 participants, including policy makers, development partners, business and financial experts, and entrepreneurs.

The discussions at the forum also focused on the importance for businesses to adopt principles and practices that protect the environment and lives.

Additionally, the forum discussions strongly emphasized the need for businesses to reduce resource inputs and increase efficiency in their production processes, minimize waste and strengthen their infrastructure to reduce environmental impacts while providing environmental goods and services.

Speaking at the event, Dr Eric Twum, a Policy Fellow for Climate Change and Sustainable Development at UNU-INRA, said doing business in an environmentally friendly manner, will help “promote responsible production, address climate change effects and generate wealth for inclusive growth”,

He said such practices are essential for enterprises to be considered green businesses.

SMEs in Ghana

The panelists at the forum acknowledged the contributions of small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) towards economic growth and recognised the need for comprehensive policies to help mainstream the activities of these enterprises in Ghana.

One of the panelists, Mr Papa Bartels, Team Leader of Industrial Sub-Contract and Partnership Exchange at the Ministry of Trade and Industry indicated that about 90 per cent of businesses in Ghana are small to medium size enterprises and policies targeting SMEs will help build their capacities and minimize environmental challenges that confront the sector.

He added that the government of Ghana is in the process of developing a policy on Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to regulate and sanitise the sector.

Similarly, in addressing a question on the challenges that small businesses face in getting financial assistance for their activities, Mr Ebenezer Arthur, the Chief Executive Officer of Wangara Capital stressed on the need for SMEs to ensure that they have competitive and go-to-market services or products, competent teams and should operate in a more transparent and accountable manner, so as to attract funding.

He observed that “money goes to where there are opportunities and there is the need for agro-businesses and other small green enterprises to present their businesses in ways that attract investors”.

Source: Daily Graphic

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