ACCRA– Ghana’s Environmental Protection Agency has signed an agreement with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank group, 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, says John Pwamang, the acting Executive Director of the EPA, who signed the co-operation agreement on behalf of the agency here Monday.

Fatima Wane, the Manager for ESRM at the IFC, signed on behalf of corporation. She 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.

Wane said under the agreement, the EPA and the IFC would work to promote better environment and social risk management practices within the banking sector. The role of the banking institutions was essential because the sector was key to enabling 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,” she 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.



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