Media 21 Africa: first workshop in Nairobi
On 1–11 June 2015 UNESCO's offices in Nairobi (Kenya) are staging the first training course for web journalists and bloggers from Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Madagascar who were selected to take part in the Media 21 project. They will learn about climate change issues and how to produce professional reports tailored to the local environment.
10 journalists and bloggers chosen for the Media 21 Africa project are currently participating in the workshop devoted to writing about subjects relating to climate change issues, in preparation for covering the 21 st Conference of the Parties on Climate Change (COP21), which will take place in France in December of this year.
Under the direction of Houmi Mikidache, a freelance journalist specialising in environmental issues, and Duncan Mboyah, a Kenyan journalist, the recipients will tackle the major climate change focus areas: vulnerable sectors, alleviation and adaptation policies introduced in their respective countries, national commitments prior to COP21, and international and political issues. Working sessions were interspersed with talks given by local journalists specialising in climate change and members of the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA).
Raising scientific awareness
The workshop also serves as an opportunity to learn about, process and raise awareness about scientific information by making it available to the public and promoting exchanges between scientific and professional media communities. To that effect, on Saturday 6 June at IFRA (the French Institute for Research in Africa) the participating journalists met a community of young Kenyan scientific researchers at a workshop organised by the French Embassy in Nairobi. The session enabled the two communities to gain a better understanding of the need to work together towards delivering understandable, relevant messages to the largest audience possible.
The 10 journalists will subsequently head off on a three-day mission in the Taita Hills region in Kenya, where they will carry out a report under the scientific guidance of Paul-André Calatayud, a researcher at the French Institute of Research and Development (IRD), with a view to learning about the problems of climate change and its impact on the communities in this region through an exploration of interactions between insects and plants. This practical field study, made possible by the support of the French Embassy in Nairobi and the IRD, will bring these 10 training days to a close.
The participants will meet again in Paris on 4–11 July 2015 to cover the conference Our Common Future Under Climate Change, co-organised by the French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA), the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) and UNESCO.
The Media 21 project is organised in collaboration with UNESCO and the embassies of the recipient countries.