Accra, Aug 27, GNA- The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has signed a cooperation agreement the Environmental Protection Agency to build capacities of financial institutions and to raise awareness on Environmental and Social Risk Management (ESRM).
The agreement focuses on training of local consultants, industry associations and institutions to support Ghanaian banks in developing and implementing environmental and social best practices.
Mr John Pwamang, the Acting Executive Director of EPA, signed for the Agency while Madam Fatima Wane, the IFC Manager for ESRM, signed on behalf of IFC.
Madam Wane said the agreement under the ESRM Ghana programme was made possible with donor support from the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs to develop guiding principles on sustainable banking.
Madam Wave said under the agreement, EPA and IFC would work to promote better environment and social risk management practices within the banking sector.
She said the role of the banking institutions was essential because the sector was key to enabling the growth of the private sector and the emergence of new businesses.
She said the banks were placed to help businesses address risks and improve environmental and social performance because through their lending activities, banks can influence the way their clients do business.
« Banks can increasingly reap the benefits of improved sustainability and support the sustainability agenda through lending to green businesses such as energy efficiency projects, renewable energy project, sustainable agriculture and forestry projects », he added.
She stated that IFC-EPA collaborative activities would include a seminar series to raise awareness of environmental and social laws and requirements for the financial institutions and their clients and a training of trainees for local environmental and social consultants to enhance the capacity of consultants in supporting the local banks in the country.
Mr Pwamang commended IFC for the support, saying the Agency was dedicated to continuously improving and conserving the country’s environment in which all sections of the community, strive to attain sustainable development and ensure effective and efficient resource management.
He said the Agency was committed to support sustainable banking practices and would collaborate with the Bank of Ghana to develop sector specific guidelines for the financial sector.
« The Agency is committed to sensitizing financial institutions, their clients and consultants on the need to take ESRA issues and its management in project into account in their dealings with project developers », he added.