African News

Accra: USAID, WABICC engage Environmental Journalists

19 May 2019 at 14:34 | 1112 views

By Emperor Bailor Jalloh, Accra, Ghana

In a bid to propel the campaign on Biodiversity and Climate Change in West Africa, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) via its funded West Africa Biodiversity and Climate ( WA BiCC) program on Tuesday 14 May 2019 in Labadi Beach Hotel, Accra,Ghana engaged Environmental Journalists in a media roundtable meeting on biodiversity and climate change in West Africa.

The environmental journalists were drawn from various media organisations from Sierra Leone, Guinea, Liberia, Ghana, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Cameroon and Senegal including UNDP Network of Environmental Journalists.

The just concluded media roundtable meeting sought to engage existing networks of environmental journalists in order to better understand the issues of environmental media in West Africa and to see how WA BiCC can contribute to promoting knowledge and to more effectively collaborate and also help to determine needs to strengthen or build capacity of existing media networks for more effective environmental reporting and participants’ participation would also create an ideal opportunity for collaboration between WA BiCC and UNDP and ensure that there is no duplicating of efforts where they are not required but to further strengthen existing structures in the region and create more opportunities for the protection of the environment.

Topics discussed include Current State and Achievements of Environmental Media and Reporting in West Africa to ascertain current state of environmental media and reporting in West Africa, Future Desirable State of Environmental Media and Reporting in West Africa, Gaps Identification and Intervention Design to identify gaps, understand causes of the gaps and design actions to be taken to address the gaps. Sharing Knowledge and Learning of Key Issues bedeviling the environment sector in West Africa as relates to the WA BiCC Mandate was also on the agenda.

The objectives of the media roundtable meeting were to gain an understanding of who is doing what in environmental media in West Africa including individuals, institutions and networks and what existing traditional and emerging platforms are being used and to what effect, to gauge the interest and if the interest exists, increase the media’s access to new and relevant information regarding combating wildlife trafficking, coastal resilience to climate change and deforestation, forest degradation and biodiversity loss, to identify environmental journalists and environmental networks to determine if there are specific actions that could be taken to build or strengthen capacities to more effectively use media to raise awareness and influence policy makers, practitioners and the public about environmental issues in the region and what needs to be done to address these issues and also to increase WA BiCC’s effectiveness on media engagement and increase the courage and reporting on environmental issues in West Africa.

Presentations were made by some WA BiCC staff members like Patricia Aba Mensah Senior Communications Specialist, Stephen Kelleher Chief of Party, Prof. Anda Tiega Resilience and Adaptation Specialist, Nouhou Ndam Landscapes and Forestry Specialist, Eugene Cole, Knowledge Management and Learning Specialist, Michael Balinga Biodiversity Conservation Specialist, Peter Mbile and Emelia Arthur Facilitator. Group works climaxed the program.

WA BiCC is a five- year regional program that seeks to improve conservation and climate change resilient low emission growth access in West Africa as a learning program with an objective to determine environmental policies and best practices across the region ; thus employing innovative knowledge management and communication tools to disseminate knowledge on critical issues, opportunities and threats that confront the region is key.