The Environmental Compliance Institute (ECI) held a capacity building workshop for African Journalists on Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) at The Laico Regency Hotel in Nairobi from 15-16 October 2015.
The forum brought together forty journalists from the four African sub-regions (Eastern, Western, Northern and Southern Africa). It was held in partnership with Media for Environment, Science, Health and Agriculture (MESHA), with financial support from UNEP’s Division of Environmental Law and Conventions.
Africa, like the rest of the world is faced with various environmental challenges that have both direct and in-direct socio-political and economic impacts. These include unsustainable exploitation of biodiversity and other natural resources, invasive and alien species, illegal trade in endangered plant and animal species, indoor and outdoor air pollution, improper waste disposal among others. They pose a grave threat to the region’s sustainable development and green economy prospects and call for innovative response mechanisms.
Over the years, hundreds of Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) have come into force with the aim of addressing the above challenges by improving global and local environmental governance. A majority of the African states are now parties to these MEAs. The realisation of the objectives of the MEAs = largely depend on the extent to which their general public and decision makers are aware and understand the content of various conventions and respective national obligations.
The media plays a critical role in influencing human behaviour through provision of relevant information. Unfortunately, this tool has not been effectively exploited in enhancing environmental awareness simply because many journalists aren’t fully aware of the environmental challenges Africa faces, nor the MEAs that govern these challenges and national mechanisms formulated for their implementation.
The full workshop report together with recommendations are found here.