Climate Change: FG, EU Train Journalists For Enhanced Awareness

By Raymond Osho

The Federal Ministry of Environment has called on journalists to join forces with the government in the fight against climate change. 

The Ministry made this appeal during a three-day capacity-building workshop for selected journalists from southern Nigeria, held in Lagos between June 24 and June 26, 2024.

The workshop, organized by the Department of Climate Change with the support of the European Union, aimed to improve journalists' reportage on climate change. 

The Nigeria Climate Change Response Programme (NCCRP) implemented the workshop as part of its efforts to enhance Nigeria's capacity to meet its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) pledge of a 47% reduction in Greenhouse Gas emissions by 2030.

The workshop equipped journalists with knowledge on key climate change concepts, their roles, and responsibilities in raising public awareness.

During the workshop, Journalists were trained on effective reportage on climate change, and were provided with data and editorial resources to enhance the quality of climate reporting in Nigeria. 

The workshop also encouraged journalists to build networks and collaborate with state ministries of environment to access information and data.

Addressing the participants in  his keynote address, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry,  Mahmud Kambari, said training put together to enable journalists amplify their voices in the fight against climate change, as well as  drive change, while holding decision-makers accountable.
The PS who was represented by the Director of the Department of Climate Change, Dr. Iniobong Abiola-Awe, said as climate change issues become more pressing, all stakeholders, including journalists must take bold action with the Federal government to mitigate its effects. 

His words ”As media professionals, you can shape the narrative, influence public opinion, and drive action on climate change.

“As professionals in this space, you have a unique opportunity and responsibility to inform, educate, and engage the public on the realities of climate change and the need for urgent action, especially the decision-makers.

Elizabeth Mwaniki, Key Expert, Communication and Capacity Building at NCCRP, emphasized the importance of prioritizing climate change reporting.

Her words "We need to put climate change on the front page of the news and on top of the bulletin to create visibility and raise awareness."

Mwaniki urged the government to open its doors to journalists, saying that, "Climate change requires facts, data, and investigative work. We need to interview experts from different sectors." 

" I also want to advise state ministries of environment to work closely with journalists to provide information and data, ensuring accurate and effective climate change reporting.

The workshop's outcome is expected to increase journalists' capacity to report on climate change issues, expand coverage, and build networks. 

By joining forces, the government and journalists can raise awareness, promote action, and mitigate the effects of climate change in Nigeria.

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