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The Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) has held a four-day training programme for officers of the Cocoa Health & Extension Division (CHED) and its Research Department on its Environmental Sustainability Management Systems and Plans (ESMS and ESMP).
The training, which was the first in a series, was organised to build the capacities of officers to enable them to monitor and track compliance during the implementation of projects by COCOBOD in cocoa-growing communities.
Participants were trained on COCOBOD’s safeguard requirements which provide a structured framework for identifying and managing potential environmental, social, health and safety risk impacts as well as opportunities for all its operations in cocoa communities.
Elaborating on the relevance of the environmental and social impacts of the operations of COCOBOD, Deputy Executive Director of CHED, Dr. Mrs. Mercy Asamoah said businesses have a responsibility to have environmental and social mitigating policies that seek to control the negative effects of their operational activities on the environment.
For that reason, it is very important, she emphasised, that the officers commit to the full implementation of sustainability plans.
Dr. Asamoah added that the purpose of the ESMS strategy is to ensure a reduction in potential risks associated with the implementation of various sub-projects of the Board and to ensure a successful outcome and effectiveness of such projects and programmes in cocoa communities.
The Deputy Director of the Research Department, in charge of Research Monitoring and Evaluation, Mr Michael Owusu- Manu stressed the need for participants to have an in- depth understanding of the components and processes of COCOBOD’s approach to the safeguards prescribed in the sustainability plans.
He urged participants to acquaint themselves with the Productivity Enhancement Programmes (PEPs) and potential risk factors these projects are likely to pose on the environment and society and how to apply the right mitigating factors.
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