The Sierra Leone government has urged businesses to strike a balance between profit making and environmental protection. A government official said on Tuesday that business people should ensure that while they grow their businesses, they seek to prevent practices that threaten the environment.
Also speaking at the well-attended meeting was Minister of Tourism and Culture, Mrs. Memunatu Pratt. “We need to find a midway as to how we can protect our businesses, and at the same time get our businesses to comply with environment protection laws and issues,” said Tourism Minister Dr. Memunatu Pratt.
Speaking on Wednesday at a forum with business owners and officials of Environment Protection Agency (EPA), she emphasized the importance of businesses observing the Environmental Impact Assessment Procedures in the hospitality sector.
Businesses leaders in the hospitality sector, particularly hotel owners, she went on, have complained against huge fees and heavy fines they say they are charged in relation to environmental issues as they affect their businesses.
She went on to state that the meeting was partly organized by the Ministry of Tourism and Culture and its partners specifically to discuss and enlighten hospitality business owners and players on how their businesses affect the environment and how to mitigate it.
“When environment issue affects businesses, such businesses may die. And I think this is the reality that is confronting us today,” Minister Pratt said.
She added that as a ministry they want to ensure an enabling environment for hospitality businesses to thrive and that they are currently trying to engage investors in both human and infrastructural sectors.