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Communication and Information Sector's news service

Reporting Africa’s climate change concerns

08-11-2010 (Johannesburg)
Reporting Africa’s climate change concerns
Screenshot of the COP16 website
© Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs
UNESCO and Inter Press Service (IPS) Africa are partnering to highlight Africa’s voice at the United Nations Climate Conference to be held in Cancun, Mexico, from 29 November to 10 December 2010.
“Africa is the continent hardest hit by climate change, yet it benefits least from the current international agreements," says Fackson Banda, UNESCO’s programme specialist responsible for science communication and climate change initiatives. "It is crucial that African countries put their concerns on the table and push for solutions that respond to their specific problems. Apart from civil society and state actors, the media have a responsibility to communicate Africa’s climate change concerns through various print and electronic means.”

In partnership with UNESCO, IPS Africa has selected two fellows to cover Cancun, producing print and radio stories that place Africa's needs and positions at the centre of deliberations for distribution to newsrooms across the continent. The initiative is also intended to prepare African reporters for the 2011 Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP) which will be held in South Africa.

UNESCO encourages international peace and universal respect for human rights by promoting collaboration among nations. Its mission is to contribute to the building of peace, the eradication of poverty, sustainable development and intercultural dialogue through education, the sciences, culture, communication and information.

IPS Africa’s Paula Fray said the partnership was part of preparing to place Africa squarely in the spotlight by the time COP17 comes around.

“We are reaching out to all our donor partners with a holistic plan to ensure that the Johannesburg meeting will not only be well attended by reporters but also well covered. To do this, we will strengthen our editorial and training focus on climate change over the next 18 months and this partnership with UNESCO allows us to start this process early.”

IPS Africa is a leading source of information about Africa, with a network of more than 100 writers reporting from almost 50 countries. IPS Africa produces regular features on development issues such as poverty, women's empowerment, governance, access to water, research and trade. IPS Africa's journalistic output is primarily available in English and French, with translations in Swahili and Portuguese.
Related themes/countries

      · Africa
      · Mexico
      · South Africa
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