Capacity Building for African Journalists on MEAs
The media plays a critical role in influencing societal behavoiur through provision of relevant information. Unfortunately, this tool has not been effectively exploited in enhancing awareness towards better environmental governance in the African continent. This is largely attributable to the fact that most journalists are not fully aware of environmental challenges facing the African continent, the MEAs that govern these challenges and the respective national mechanisms formulated to implement the MEAs.
In 2014 ECI designed and implemented the Project – Capacity Building for African Journalists on MEAs – in partnership with UN Environment (Division of Environmental Law and Conventions) under the ACP MEAs Programme. In addition, ECI collaborated with MESHA, a Pan-African media practitioners’ organization, to deliver the project.
The goal of this project was to enhance the capacity of African journalists to report on key environmental issues facing the continent, the global and regional MEAs to which African states are parties and their respective national implementation mechanisms.
In furtherance of the above goal, the project sought to meet the following objectives:
- Raise awareness of 40 African journalists from the 4 sub-regions (North, West, East and Southern Africa) on the environmental challenges facing the African continent, the existing and emerging response mechanisms under global and regional MEAs, and the national implementation mechanisms for the MEAs;
- Impart effective reporting strategies to 40 African journalists from the 4 sub-regions on Africa’s priority environmental issues, MEAs and their national implementation mechanisms;
- Document best practices on effective reporting on MEAs and their implementation mechanisms.
The key activities of the project were:
- Designing and implementing a training program for African journalists on MEAs; and,
- Developing and disseminating a Handbook on MEAs for African journalists.
Outputs and Impact
The Project outputs are available below:
- Report of the Capacity Building Workshop for African Journalists on MEAs
- Handbook for African Journalists on MEAs
ECI has monitored the performance of environmental journalism in Africa before and after the project and can confidently report the following impacts:
- There is increased awareness among African journalists of the environmental issues facing the African continent, MEAs and their corresponding national implementation mechanisms; and,
- There is increased visibility of environmental issues with more reporting in African media.