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African Experts Review Upcoming UNESCO Guide on Climate Change Reporting

UNESCO29 October 2013: The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) held an expert meeting for African academics and journalists to review a manuscript for a forthcoming UNESCO publication, titled 'Reporting on Climate Change in Africa: A Practical Guide for Journalists.'

Co-authored by the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) and INTERNEWS, the guide aims to help journalists to acquire knowledge and skills on how to better report on climate change adaptation and mitigation in Africa.

The meeting, which took place from 22-23 October 2013, in Nairobi, Kenya, brought together experts from Botswana, Ghana, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. According to UNESCO, participants debated the “interdisciplinary” basis of climate change knowledge, and how it can be appropriated by journalists in Africa. They highlighted the importance of: underscoring truthfulness when reporting on climate change; actively setting the agenda on climate change adaptation and mitigation; changing people's perception of what constitutes a ‘juicy story;' taking into account issues of ethics and environmental justice; and reflecting a better link between indigenous knowledge and science.

Participants also stressed that radio plays a key role in reporting on climate change in Africa and called on UNESCO and the guide's authors to ensure that it addresses aspects that would make it more usable by radio journalists. [UNESCO Press Release] [UNESCO Webpage on Journalism Education and Training]