In January this year the AAP’s media component taught 19 journalists how to teach climate journalism. The initiatives in which some of them have since been involved demonstrate the national resource these individuals can be to AAP teams, media houses and others.
Pictured: Emmanuel Wongibe, one of four Team Leaders in the Media Capacity Building Project, facilitates a session at the ‘Training of Trainers’ in Nairobi in January.
Emmanuel Muwumba, Malawi
Emmanuel helped organise and host a media training workshop on climate change and disaster risk management reporting.
The purpose of the workshop, held by Malawian NGO The Centre for Environmental Policy and Advocacy, was to build Malawian media personnel’s understanding of climate change and its impacts, possible solutions and how to communicate effectively on the subject. I was involved in planning and agenda setting as well as selecting participants.
The workshop looked at climate change-related issues in Malawi and national responses. The sessions were intended to help participants write about and understand the observable effects of climate change, how climate change impacts on human activities and welfare, what makes some societies more vulnerable than others, how Malawian media is handling climate change debates and issues, and how the media can play a bigger role in climate change adaptation. Participants went into the field and wrote stories, which were then critiqued by the facilitators on areas such as pitching, investigation and gender.
I became involved because after the (TOT) training in Nairobi in February I briefed some NGOs working on environment and climate change issues in Malawi on how they could possibly engage me to teach effective reporting of climate change and other environmental issues. Some of these NGOs are partners of the Association of Environmental Journalists in Malawi, which I belong to, and knew of my role in another training in Lilongwe led by Joachim Buwembo, for which I facilitated sessions on pitching, information gathering and presenting climate change stories from the field.
Michael Smire, Nigeria
Michael has coordinated a submission from Nigeria’s media to a Rio+20 Action Plan. He has also been helping AAP Nigeria to plan media training events and a possible tour of environmental initiatives with other AAP media graduates through their association, the AAP Nigeria Media Network.
AAP Nigeria hosted a two day event in Abuja to draft submissions for the National Action Plan for Rio+20, a record of the nation’s views for the global summit containing contributions from sectors such as academia, civil society, government, youth, women and local peoples. After attending this event I created an online forum engaging about 40 environmental journalists from across the nation, many of whom were AAP media workshops graduates, to draft a media submission for the National Action Plan. Through the online forum the journalists were able to contribute to and make comments on the submission, which I then lead a four-man committee to complete.
I am also working with UNDP Nigeria on planning a media development event to be held in Lagos entitled ‘UNDP and the Media: Partnership for Environment and Sustainable Development’, which I will help facilitate. The two-day event will seek to establish long-term partnerships with the media to support information sharing, the exchange of ideas and advocacy for sustainable environmental practices, and the overall achievement of the MDGs.
Similarly, AAP Nigeria has sought my input in putting together another possible media development event scheduled for July or August. I recently prepared and submitted a concept note for the proposed project, which I have suggested should explore post-Rio+20/pre-COP18 media perspectives.
Finally, myself and other journalists who have benefited from AAP media training have formed an association called the AAP Nigeria Media Network. At AAP Nigeria’s request, I recently prepared a concept note for a proposal to have members of the Network visit AAP-associated projects as well as Nigeria’s five approved Clean Development Mechanism project sites to publicise their activities.
Laetitia Umuhouza, Rwanda
Laetitia has been working with AAP Rwanda on the design of a potential journalism workshop and an awareness-raising campaign targeting members of parliament.
AAP Rwanda and I came up the idea of a journalism workshop in recognition of the challenges journalists have in fully understanding climate change-related issues. After AAP Rwanda produced a documentary film on how different regions of Rwanda are suffering from events related to climate change such as landslides, irregular rainfall, floods in the Central, Northern and Western provinces and droughts in the East, we decided that we need to raise public awareness and that the media offered the best opportunity to meet this goal. But, journalists need to be able to tell these stories, hence our plan for a workshop.
After the workshop we plan to ask journalists to advise on the best and most interesting ways they think climate change issues can be covered, which we will compile into a document to be distributed around the region.
I am also in discussions with AAP Rwanda about a possible campaign to improve parliamentarians’ knowledge of climate change issues. The purpose would be to enhance their willingness to advocate on climate change-related issues in Rwanda.
Djibril Saidou, Niger
Djibril helped organise a side event at World Press Freedom day that focused on climate change impacts in Niger.
I was a facilitator in an activity organised by the [Niger] Network of Science Journalists entitled ‘Science Cafe’ at Niger’s World Press Freedom Day celebrations. I spoke there on the experience I had with the AAP program, as did some Nigerian journalists who had attended the AAP’s national training in Niamey. We explored the impacts of climate change on agricultural production in Niger, a Sahelian country that suffers from regular food crises linked to inadequate rainfall. Niger’s vulnerable ecology means dedicated outreach and awareness efforts are needed to respond to the phenomenon of climate change.
Mekonnen Teshome, Ethiopia
Mekonnen has been working with the Ethiopian Science Journalists Association (SJA) to help host training workshops for his peers.
We [the SJA] hosted an environmental journalism workshop in collaboration with the Makki Center and the Ministry of Science and Technology. The one-day event saw 20 journalists trained on climate change reporting.
To make contact with the climate change journalism trainers located in AAP countries send an email to the AAP helpdesk: [email protected]