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Philippine Journalists: Communicating the Urgency of Climate Change

Climate change is one of the most pressing and debated issues of the 21st century. It is also suddenly a very hot new topic to journalists, especially from the countries most at risk from climate change like the Philippines.

Highlighting that the media has a critical role to play in raising levels of public awareness and influencing public opinion, there is a need to increase the capacity of Philippine journalists to produce greater quality and volume of reporting on climate change issues.

On November 5 and 6, 2010, some 35 journalists will interact with climate change experts from the Philippine government and academe in a workshop entitled “Too hot to handle: Understanding and Reporting Climate Change” at the Bayview Park Hotel in Manila, Philippines.

The Philippine Network of Environmental Journalists, Inc. (PNEJ) in collaboration with the Singapore-based Economy and Environment Program of Southeast Asia (EEPSEA), an organization which supports training and research in environmental and resource economics, will be hosting the event. It is also being supported
by the Ayala Foundation, Inc, SN Power and the Greenergy Solutions, Inc.

In time for December’s international negotiations on climate change in Cancun, Mexico, the two-day workshop will look into the science of climate change, the politics of global warming, the Philippine strategy in mainstreaming and addressing climate change, adaptation, reporting climate change and the future direction of climate change communication. The event will also highlight the presentation of the EEPSEA
research cross country project on climate change in Southeast Asia as well as the climate change vulnerability map of Southeast Asia.

To make more Filipinos aware of the consequences of climate change, the media has a greater role in disseminating information, said Imelda Abaño, PNEJ President.

“There is an urgent need to equip Philippine journalists on environmental issues particularly on climate change. This is a timely opportunity for them to grasp, understand the science of climate and the political and social context of the problem as well as hone their skills in reporting this often complex issue,” Abaño added.

Participants will have an opportunity to share their climate change questions, challenges (and solutions) with experts and with other participants in this “journalists-climate experts meet-up”.

PNEJ, an organization of nearly 40 journalists, aims to advance excellence in environmental reporting and commits to helping the Filipino people to deepen their understanding of nature and the environment. Thus, it believes that more tools and knowledge are needed to fully equip Filipino journalists in presenting environmental issues to the public.

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