African journalists have been challenged to help local communities understand climate change issues to increase their resilience and adaptation.
Kenya’s Minister of Environment and Forestry Keriako Tobiko said this on Tuesday in Nairobi during the launch of an Africa Climate Story Media Initiative (ACSMI) organised by Africa on Air and Pan-African Media Alliance for Climate Change (Pamacc) for African environmental journalists.
He said the media is crucial for African communities to enhance resilience and adaptation to effects of climate change.
Tobiko said: “We have degraded the environment, poisoned rivers and polluted air with greenhouse gases emission, among others. These have aggravated the climate crisis we are in now, and do not normalise what is not normal in your reporting. You have capacity to inform communities to understand this crisis and possible interventions to be employed to build resilience.”
Africa On Air director Joseph Warungu said the media should produce groundbreaking climate change stories from affected communities in Africa.
“Evidence based studies indicate that mass media can influence awareness, attitude, knowledge and action on climate change. However, majority of journalists in Africa lack capacity and resources to report on this issue,” he said.
Pamacc coordinator Isaiah Esipisu said they also want journalists to amplify Africa’s voice on climate change ahead of the 27th Session of Conference of Parties (CoP27) scheduled for Egypt this year.