Media workshops planned on climate change


To be held across the hill states                                                                                            

Loktak Lake in Manipur, courtesy Kh Manglembi
Loktak Lake in Manipur, courtesy Kh Manglembi

If you are an aspiring environment reporter or are already into covering environmental issues, here’s good news for you. Even better if climate change upsets you and you are really passionate about reporting it from the field.

The Indian Himalayas Climate Adaptation Programme (IHCAP) of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), the Department of Science and Technology of the Government of India, and the Center for Media Studies (CMS) have announced a series of media engagement workshops in the Northeast region and elsewhere.

The workshops aim at promoting accurate reporting on climate change and adaptation measures in the Indian Himalayas.

The media engagement programme was formally launched in Imphal by Manipur Governor Dr Najma A Heptulla on December 3. Also present at the launch event was Manipur’s Environment Minister Irengbam Hemochandra who delivered the keynote address.

The workshops will also be held in Sikkim, West Bengal, Meghalaya, Assam, Tripura, Mizoram, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir. Over the next three years, these media workshops will continue in all the Indian Himalayan states.

Kasol in Himachal Pradesh, courtesy Karan Kaushik
Kasol in Himachal Pradesh, courtesy Karan Kaushik

The objective of this media engagement programme is to trigger interest in climate change, its impact on sustainability, livelihood issues and adaptation stories among journalists, editors and media houses in the region and thereby among the masses.

A press release regarding the programme states that if effective measures are taken in time, experts believe it may be possible to prevent further degradation of the ecosystem. Fellowships will also be awarded to journalists from the region to write field-based stories and the best stories written by state-level journalists will be awarded at the end of the programme.

The workshops will see senior thematic experts, scientists and policymakers interacting with journalists from different media outlets in the Northeast and the Himalayan states. Each workshop will also include a field trip to facilitate ground-level reportage on climate change adaptation.

Climate change has a direct effect on vital economic sectors and livelihoods of the communities in the Himalayas and its foothills and an informed media can play an important role by spreading awareness and stimulating action on climate change adaptation and mitigation.

By Karan Kaushik