From: Bamidele Fashube, Lome
Stakeholders in the environment sector on Friday converged in Lome, Togo to discuss and provide sustainable solutions to issues of environmental sustainability and renewable energy solutions in Africa.
Particiapnts at the Africa Cleanup International Conference themed: ‘Business of Environmental Sustainability’ identified need for holistic approach and creative ways of waste recycling as vital opportunity to creating jobs and reducing pollution.
Chief Environmental Officer, African Cleanup Initiative (ACI), Felix Akhigbe, said the theme was carefully chosen to reflect current environment realities from waste management to clean energy, risk assessments and safety including green and blue economy.
He expressed optimism on expectations of the conference, adding that it would help address contemporary challenges threatening the planet.
“The business of environmental sustainability is the business of safeguarding the future. It is the enterprise that ensures effective and efficient use of available resources, leaving a legacy behind for the next generation.”
Executive Director, JVE, Alouka Sena, said achieving the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations could help save the planet from pollution and other environmental challenges.
He tasked the youth to take advantage of opportunities in the renewable energy sector.
According to him, Africans who contributes less to climate change but largely affected should look inward and develop innovative solutions to mitigating climate change impacts.
He described the event as a collective effort between JVE and ACI meant to develop leadership and eco-citizenship of the youth for their involvement in sustainable development of the society and immediate communities.
Earlier, Miva Energy Association, Energy Program Manager, Elodie Le Bachelier, expressed significant of embracing renewable energy especially for cooking at rural communities.
She noted that despite innovations such as the clean Cookstoves and solar lamps, rural people still lack access aside from the problem of affordability.
This, she said was addressed through partnership with women groups and development of installmental payment mechanism for the poor communities to access the items.
In her paper titled, Enhancing Environmental Sustainability through OSH Management, Eco-Consultant, Agharese Lucia discussed how Africa could take advantage of Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) and proposed environmental sustainability business ideas to the investors.
According to her, organisations should be encouraged to adopt sustainable alternatives to plastic bags such as biodegradable packages.
“Production companies can add chemical components to the plastic materials such as the plastics get degraded within a short space rather than the usual longer years of polluting the environment.”
She was further awarded by the organisers for her outstanding contributions to issues of sustainable environmental management.