,The ECOWAS Commission has reiterated its commitment to environmental sustainability by working with the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) to engage key players in the West African private sector to develop strategies which will ensure environmental protection.

During a courtesy visit to the ECOWAS headquarters on the 18th August 2017, by the Director of UNEP Regional office for Africa (ROA), Mrs. Juliette Biao Koudenoukpo, the Vice President, His Excellency Edward Singhatey assured that the commission will facilitate efforts to engage the private sector in the region towards cleaner production processes and environmental sustainability.

This he stated will be attainable by taking stock of how the Private Sector has contributed to environmental sustainability and harmonizing environmental policies in the region with their input.

Similarly, Mrs. Koudenoukpo stated that the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) in addition to ensuring peace and security in the region, are key building blocks with vital roles to play in environmental protection which affect social and economic growth.

She solicited the cooperation of ECOWAS in the upcoming high-level meeting between UNEP and the African RECs as stipulated in the Memorandum of Understanding between the two organizations.

The meeting, she stated, would aim to strengthen regional environmental governance, identify and develop joint regional programs/projects and mobilize resources for their implementation.

Mrs. Koudenoukpo also used the opportunity to urge African nations to make financial commitments to environmental protection initiatives to ensure their sustainability and human security.

In agreement with the UNEP Director for ROA, the Vice President noted that being a former Minister of Environment in the Gambia, he had observed that environmental initiatives don’t often receive the attention and financial commitment they require to be implemented. He described this as unfortunate as ‘not protecting the environment will have consequences in the future on the society and human lives’, he noted.

Also in attendance of the meeting, was the ECOWAS Director of Environment, Dr.Johnson Boanuh.