Improving climate change reporting and collaboration between science and the media was the main focus of a workshop held yesterday in Port Vila.
Twenty journalists from various media organizations including students from the Media School at the Vanuatu Institute of Technology are attending this professional climate change training in Vanuatu.
The Internews Earth Journalism Network in partnership with the Media Association of Vanuatu (MAV) and the Ministry of Climate Change are hosting the three days Pacific Geo Journalism Training on Climate Change.
Yesterdays discussions focused on enhancing journalists’ knowledge on climate change and how to educate people.
Empowering media professionals in fulfilling their role as key players in society to communicate information to battle against climate change was the prime objective of the workshop.
Following the workshop declaration by the Director of the Ministry of Climate Change, David Gibson, the facilitator James Fahn outlined the history of climate change, its impacts and how humans are major contributors to the global issue through burning fossil fuels and deforestation.
Fahn is the Global Director of Internews Earth Journalism Network, a network of journalists in developing countries producing stories specifically on climate change and the environment.
He highlighted the value of better reporting of climate change in the Pacific.
Director Gibson emphasized the value of media and information in advancing understanding climate change in Vanuatu.
While it’s hard to get the world to reduce carbon-dioxide heating the earth, there are ways for Vanuatu as a small developing state can do to prevent and adapt, Fahn emphasized.
“Vulnerable people are usually the ones affected.
“They get damaged by pollution, they lose their jobs and farms to climate change,” he added.
The workshop is funded by the USAID Pacific American Climate Fund and implemented by Earth Journalism Network in partnership with the Pacific Alliance of Development Journalists with technical support by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme.
Similar training has been held in Samoa and Fiji with the participation of over 60 pacific journalists.
Through the training, journalists can access grant opportunities for reporting through Pacific Geo Journalism.
The Pacific Coordinator of Pacific Geo Journalism, Lagipoiva Cherelle Jackson, said: “Pacific journalists now have a platform to publish their climate stories at an international level and opportunities to report from environmental conferences and events through EJN”.
The training continues today with a field trip to the Sino-Van Fish Plant at Blacksand before the training ends tomorrow.