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24.03.2009 Social News

Ensure best environmental practices

By gna

Ms Joyce Aryee, Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Chamber of Mines has called on mining companies to improve upon the biodiversity of the country, by embarking on best environmental practices.

She said in this time of climate change, it was important that biodiversity issues were taken seriously to add to the overall carbon points for the nation.

Ms Aryee gave the advice at a meeting of the Environmental and Social Committee of the Chamber at the Ghana Manganese Company, Nsuta in the Tarkwa-Nsuaem Municipality.

She challenged the environmental and social practitioners in the mining industry to adopt mitigating measures such as greening projects within their mining concessions, and collaborate with local chiefs and elders, teachers, forestry department and religious bodies to embark upon sustained tree planting exercise which will add “more carbon points to the country” to lessen the challenges that could come with the climate change.

Miss Aryee said the mining industry should have the “interest of the people first, followed by the planet before profits”, because the Chamber is subscribing to the 'Equator Principle' which insists on the best practices in corporate social responsibility.

She noted that since environmental and social practitioners occupy very sensitive positions in their various organizations, their activities can make or unmake the mining industry.

They therefore have to be proactive, anticipate issues and find solutions before the unexpected happens.

She also advised mining companies to move away from the 'mining enclave tag' and ensure best practices in their operations in order to leave behind positive footprints by extending development projects and expertise to the communities and society at large.

On his part, the Director for Mining of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Nana Andoh encouraged members of the chamber to pay attention to the small issues which could generate into bigger issues with very negative consequences if not managed properly.

He implored members to show commitment to the environmental protection initiatives to attract the best grading and award from the Environmental Protection Agency.

Mr James Badu, the Environmental Director, Newmont who chaired the function urged members to exchange ideas and share knowledge to make the industry competitive and robust.