PROJECT: Communicating climate change issues in Africa
Project Reference: KNAF-0002
Mass media plays a critical role in shaping public opinion, and is indispensable in reaching out to the public, influencing policy and helping set the development agenda. This is no less true in communicating climate change issues.
This project supported the Africa Group of Negotiators in communicating to the wider public, and a range of stakeholders, issues that were advanced in the climate change negotiations. The project’s primary focus concerned the climate change negotiations leading to the 2015 negotiations in Paris. The UNFCCC, through COP decisions, has set timelines for certain deliverables by Parties.
Using mainstream media, this project translated the often-technical issues being negotiated under the UNFCCC process into common layperson’s language and promoted a more nuanced understanding of the Africa position on key issues as negotiations moved towards an agreement in 2015. It provided a platform to communicate the key issues under negotiation, which were key for the agreement in Paris in the COP 21.
This project aimed to:
- To build a critical mass of African journalists reporting on climate change and development issues and particularly on the UNFCCC negotiations.
- To create a platform where journalists and other key stakeholders e.g. members of the AGN and other key partners such as the African Climate Policy Centre interact
- To improve the quality of the sources of information for journalists to write the stories.
- Raise the profile of climate change issues as articulated by African negotiators in the UNFCCC and covering the key themes of the CDKN.
The Pan African Climate Justice Alliance, an African coalition of civil society organisations, provided guidance and training through the fellowship to the benefit of five journalists from African countries. The journalists were selected through the African Climate Change and Environmental Reporting Awards (ACCER), an annual process whose main aim is to catalyse increased African media to the attention of climate change and environment.
The winners of the awards qualify automatically for the The ACCER Awards Finalists Academy (TAAFA) which include key activities like sponsorship to attend UNFCCC Conference of Parties, which CDKN has supported.
The journalists represent print, web, radio and television reporting and include both English and French coverage.
Timeframe: 1 December 2014 – 31 May 2015