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Declaration for an increased public awareness of climate change

09-09-2009 (Paris)
Declaration for an increased public awareness of climate change
Conference poster
Regional broadcasting unions, international broadcasting associations and other stakeholders decided to increase regional and international cooperation, with the support of UN, and step up their efforts to give media exposure to climate change so as to help mitigate its impact and avert potential human suffering. This decision is part of a declaration adopted at the end of a two-day conference at UNESCO Headquarters on 4 and 5 September.
The International Conference on Broadcast Media and Climate Change, organized by UNESCO in partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), brought together some 250 representatives of national broadcasters from both developing and developed countries, regional broadcasting unions, key international broadcasting associations, scientific organizations and climate-related agencies, who examined major perspectives on reporting on climate change today.

In their declaration, the participants stressed that “access to relevant information on climate change is vital to sustain a living planet and for the survival of human beings.” Regional broadcasting unions and associations committed to partner with international development agencies to improve the quality and quantity of content relating to climate change through capacity-building, networking and programme exchange.

Equally pressing was the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, who sent a message to the participants highlighting the importance of public awareness of the issue. “Climate change, he said, is one of the most fundamental threats ever to confront humankind. It exacerbates all of the problems we face: poverty, disease, hunger and insecurity. It impedes progress toward the Millennium Development Goals. It deepens the food and energy crises.”

“That is the harsh reality,” the Secretary-General said. “But there is an upside: if we combat climate change with a sustainable, low-emissions approach, we can change the way countries develop. We can foster green growth. We can fight hunger and poverty while protecting the environment.”

The Director-General of UNESCO, Koïchiro Matsuura, echoed the Secretary-General’s pressing exhortations to address the issue of climate change ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (Copenhagen, Denmark, 7-18 December 2009). He stressed UNESCO’s longstanding involvement with the issue, notably through its Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC), which conducts scientific research and assessments of the climate system.

The Director-General also stressed the importance of capacity building through education in tackling the issue. “Climate change will affect not only us, said Mr Matsuura, but future generations to come. It is therefore essential that we lay the groundwork for future generations to understand and effectively confront this challenge.”
Related themes/countries

      · Public Service Broadcasting
      · Media Development
      · UNESCO International Conference on Broadcast Media and Climate Change: A Public Service Remit
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