Group Trains Journalists on Effective Climate Change Reporting

Seye Joseph

In better effort to cover and have deep knowledge for effective reporting on environment and climate change,  journalists from various media organisations in Nigeria have been trained  on the Paris Agreement and Climate Smart Agriculture.

The one day training that was organised by HEDA Resource Centre with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change was themed “The Paris Agreement, Climate Change and the Nigerian Agriculture Sector: Mobilizing Citizens through a Robust Media.”

Speaking during the training, the Executive Director of HEDA, Sulaiman Arigbabu said that the role of journalists is central as they help citizens to know what government is doing; they also help government and every policy makers to know the impact of their policies, action and inactions on citizens.

“Journalists are able to share networks, knowledge and experience that keep their job going irrespective of the challenges they are facing, they should also help bring stories that matter in a way that is enabling in way that empower stories, and make citizens to take action, story informing citizens why they must take action, stories that will make government to know the economic, social, cultural and security implications of their actions and inaction. The essence of today’s training is to inform a little more of what is happening on global and local and to also foster networking among journalists.”

Also speaking during the training, Michael Simire, Editor EnviroNews Nigeria wants media to chart a course for the public in line with the agenda setting theory, thereby creating in the minds of the people, issues that should be viewed  as priority issues including climate change and food security programmes and policies.

“Protection of social, development and climate Justice, not only expected to record, compose or report account of events and stories just as the historians do, but to analyze issues and facts contained in the news, in line with the need and interest of such Justice.”

“To ensure an orderly, healthy and pollution-free environment, as well as a food secured society, the media has the task of discouraging such negative issues as indiscriminate waste disposal, poor sanitary behavior, and other environment-unfriendly habits that lead to pollution, flooding, erosion, food insecurity and ill health”, he said.

Explaining to the participants at the workshop on the imparts of climate change on agriculture, Climate Change, Drought and Desertification Expert Prof. Olukayode Oladipo said that agriculture is  among the sectors that will suffer the largest negative impacts of climate change.

According to Oladipo, “The world is becoming increasingly food-insecure. Global food production needs to increase by 40% to meet growing demand due to increasing population that is expected to reach 9 billion by 2050, roughly at a time when the global greenhouse gas emissions have to sharply decrease to meet the UNFCCC’s goal of a less than 2°C rise of global temperature.”

He mentioned inconsistency, uncoordinated, and inappropriate policies as factors discouraging agricultural growth in the country.

Oladipo also mentioned that fragmented, overlapping institutions, and weak policy coordination within the agricultural sector,  lack of systematic, regularly updated and comparable information to assess sustainability and resilience are part of factors militating the growth of agriculture in the country.

He called for adoption of an integrated approach that addresses both the socio-economic and environmental drivers of food insecurity in the country.

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