By Philip Lee, Deputy Director of Programs, WACC
| || ||Development journalists are urged to focus on climate change, especially in the global South.|
WACC has invested some time and effort in alerting its constituency to the issue of climate justice. A web page dedicated to resources on climate-related questions can be found at http://www.waccglobal.org/en/activities/climate-justice.html
WACC is delighted that the role of communication in promoting greater awareness of the many complex issues involved has been recognised by the government of Denmark at the urging of Internews, Panos, and the International Institute for Environment and Development.
|Ulla Tørnæs, Danish Minister of Development Co-operation (Photo source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark)|| || |
Speaking on July 28 on behalf of the COP15 (Climate Change Conference) host nation, Ulla Tørnæs, Danish Minister of Development Co-operation, invited national and local grassroots and citizen journalists to apply for the Climate Change Adaptation Award.
“It is crucial for nations around the world, their citizens and the media as a whole to grasp the need for adaptation and behaviour change in the face of climate change, and to embrace efforts made to minimize its effects that use the best of our ingenuity... I therefore encourage professional and citizen journalists from the developed and developing world to share with us powerful and inspiring stories of adaptation.”
Every society, economy and every individual will face the consequences of climate change. Poor communities are at even greater risk of weather-related disasters and famine. Conflicts over diminishing resources are also an ever growing prospect for countries the world over.
In its 4th Assessment Report, the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) stated that it is very likely that human activities are causing global warming. If humans are part of the problem, they are also part of the solution. By adapting to climate change – by adopting environmentally sustainable technologies and consumption patterns, for instance – it is possible to counter the impact climate change will have on the planet.
In order to adapt to climate change, people need access to information on the best methods to do so. The media play a vital role in informing the public on how to adapt to climate change in matters that are sensitive to the contexts and situations in which people live.
The Climate Change Adaptation Award will be given to the best story on efforts to adapt to climate change. The focus of the story can be on any scale, from the personal level to communities, cities, countries, regions or even globally; the focus could be urban or rural or a combination. The story may be about macro-level issues such as the relationship between climate change and development, the pathways to sustainable adaptation policies or enabling environments, or about micro-level practical steps that people, communities and cities can take to adjust to the impacts of climate change.
Particular attention will be given to coverage of how the most vulnerable and communities can adjust to climate change, but the winning story need not focus exclusively on this.
The Adaptation Award will be handed out by Ulla Tørnæs, the Danish Minister for Development Cooperation, at a high-profile awards ceremony at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen on December 14, 2009. Full information at: http://www.awards.earthjournalism.org/content/about-the-competition