Monitoring of environmental standards require financial support – Minister
Ms Sherry Ayittey, Minister of Environment, Science and Technology on Wednesday expressed the need for Ghanaian industries to take steps to minimise waste.
This, she said could be done through the introduction of innovative means of disposing waste through research and public education.
Ms Ayittey was speaking during the launch of the Unilever Sustainability Living Plan (USLB) on the theme: “Growing Sustainably, Living Sustainably.”
She underscored the need for long-term financial support to sustain research and monitor environmental standards in industries.
The three big goals of the USLP are to help one billion people improve their health and well-being, halve environmental foot-print of company’s products and sourcing of 100 per cent of agricultural raw materials sustainability.
Ms Ayittey said it was a fallacy for people to think that the country’s natural resources would always be there, “no matter how we treat them”, adding: “If we sell all timber trees, remove all the fishes in our waters and kill all wildlife, they will not be replenished.”
Environmental sustainability, she said required that human activity consumed the resources of nature at no more than a rate at which they could be replenished naturally.
She said it was in this vein that the USLP had come at an opportune time, because the sourcing of raw materials and the use by the company depended absolutely on bio-diversity, its preservation and replenishment.
The Minister lauded Unilever for not only using the right packaging materials but also making recycling as part of its corporate plan.
She urged other industrial establishments to adopt recycling processes that would protect the environment and reduce urban pollution.
Ms Ayittey said the Environmental Protection Agency was being strengthened in terms of capacity to improve the monitoring of environmental management in industries and to enforce compliance.
She charged stakeholders in industry to collaborate with the research institute to develop environmentally-safe technologies for use in the manufacturing sector.
Dr Mustapha Ahmed, Deputy Minister of Water Resource, Works and Housing said the theme for the USLP was most appropriate in a world where sustainable development was high on the agenda of many governments and ensuring that the environment did not suffer at the expense of the increasing desire to develop.
He commended Unilever for the bold initiative and the innovative living plan which, he said would go a long way to help improve the quality of lives of billions of people around the world.
Mr David Mureithi, Managing Director of Unilever in charge of West Africa said the company proposed to improve health and well-being, by helping people to change their daily hygiene habits, and also making healthy food choices.
Mr Bright Blewu, General Secretary of the Ghana Journalists Association charged members to take up the challenge of moving a little away from politics and concentrate their reportage on environmental issues.
He said “at the end of the day our sustainability as a people would matter most”.