Climate Communications Day
Addressing Climate Change with Innovation and Information
December 1, 2011
Durban, South Africa – Southern Sun Elangeni Hotel (MAP)
Twitter Hashtag #CCommsDay
8:00 – Registration
9:00 – Welcome Address – James Fahn, Executive Director, Internews’ Earth Journalism Network
9:15 – Opening Plenary Panel: A focus on the message.
Are traditional attempts at climate communications useless? Where have mistakes been made and successes been achieved? What is being proposed (including controversial solutions)? Should scientists communicate about climate change with the public or leave that job to communicators? Have environmental organizations failed in their communications? We are increasingly told that the advancing climate communication is not a matter of more information, but of changing values and understanding the psychology of consumers, voters and politicians. Is this true, and if so what then are the expected roles for journalists, scientists and communicators in this effort?
- Randy Olson (Scientist turned film-maker, author of Don’t Be Such a Scientist) (via video)
- Haili Cao (Caixin Media, China)
- Obinna Anyadike (IRIN News, South Africa)
- Joydeep Gupta (IANS/Third Pole Project, India)
- Sergio Abranches – (Ecopolitica institute, Brazil)
- Yolandi Groenewald (City Press, South Africa )
Moderator: Marina Joubert (Southern Science, South Africa)
11:00 Coffee Break
11:15 Second Plenary Panel: A focus on the medium.
Has the mainstream media dropped the ball on climate change and do we need it anyway, given the explosion of social media and social movements? How do you communicate climate change to non-literate audiences in languages that have no words to match the scientific jargon? Are art, drama or literature better ways to communicate climate change? How do new technologies enable more effective communications and how businesses communicate in ways the rest of us don’t?
- Indi Mclymont-Lafayette (Panos Caribbean, Jamaica)
- Kelly Rigg (Global Campaign for Climate Action/ TckTckTck)
- Chris Librie (Hewlett Packard)
- Wambi Michael (Uganda Radio Network, Uganda)
- David McCauley (Asian Development Bank)
Moderator: Mike Shanahan (IIED, UK)
12:45 Lunch and Information Buffet
During lunch, delegates can browse for both food and information, from the tables where all participants will be welcome to leave material and talk about their work.
13:45 Breakout Sessions 1:
1. Communicating climate change with games
Pablo Suarez of the Red Cross/Red Crescent Climate Centre, and Janot Mendler de Suarez of the Boston University Pardee Center, with support from CDKN, explain why games can be useful, and will then will run a participatory game, followed by a debriefing on how we can integrate participatory games for learning and dialogue into the growing climate change work.
2. Climate Movies:
Take a guided tour of recent movies aimed at raising awareness about climate change, from An Inconvenient Truth and 11th Hour to Sizzle, The Age of Stupid and Home. Brief clips will be shown of each. Participants will put on their critical hats and offer reviews of the movies they’ve seen and advice for future efforts. Moderator: Jacqueline Frank, Regional Project Coordinator, Media Capacity Building of Africa Adaptation Programme.
3. What’s God Got To Do With It?
Some of the world’s best communicators, with the biggest and most open audiences, are religious leaders. So what are they saying about climate change and is there scope for scientific and religious worldviews to come together and sing from the same hymn sheet? Moderator: David LePage (Southern African Faith Communities Environment Institute); Speakers: Lic. Elias Crisostomo Abramides (World Council of Churches); Bishop Geoff Davies (Southern African Faith Communities Environment Institute); His Eminence Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga (President of Caritas Internationalis); Rabbi Hillel Avidan.
14:30 Breakout Sessions 1 ends
14:40 Breakout Sessions 2:
The Dragon’s Breath: From the front lines of climate change to the front page
It’s getting hot out there. But no matter how urgent climate change is, it is always a challenge to get media coverage on research-based solutions. Three researchers from the IDRC-DFID Climate Change Adaptation in Africa programme will attempt to convince three dragons (media editors) that their stories are worth covering. The editors — journalists Joydeep Gupta, Tim Williams and Laurie Goering — will show what the media really wants in terms of news, stories and human interest. For those pitching their stories, ingenuity and inspiration will be critical. Those braving the Dragons’ Den will be: Dr Abdellatif Khattabi (on preparing for sea level rise on Morocco’s northern coast); Dr Maria Onyango (on harnessing indigenous climate forecasting knowledge) and Dr Paul Mapfumo of University of Zimbabwe (on protecting soils to increase smallholder resilience). Moderator: Liz Carlile (International Institute for Environment and Development).
Climate Change Skeptics in the Global South?
Climate change skeptics are famous in the Western countries but what about in the rest of the world? James Painter of the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism (University of Oxford) discusses the findings of his new study of media coverage in Brazil, China, France, India, UK and United States.
Connecting IT and Communications
A growing number of initiatives seek to connect information technology with climate change communications, either through demonstration projects that seek to make the industry more sustainable, or using IT tools to further climate understanding. Here we look at initiatives being carried out by the UN and the ITU. Speakers: include Amrei Horstbrink (UN CC:Learn) and Toby Johnson (ITU).
15:30 Coffee Break
15:45 Closing Plenary: From Top-Down to Two-Way Climate Communication
What are governments, UN, academia and multilateral agencies doing to communicate climate change? Article 6 of the UNFCCC enjoins member states to “Promote and Facilitate… public awareness programmes on climate change and its effects”. Are countries living up to these commitments? If not, why? If so, how could they be doing it better? Are there risks involved – such an erosion of press freedom when journalists are expected to communicate government messages? How do we move from top-down communications where bureaucrats tell people what to think and do about climate change, to more of a two-way conversation?
- Jonathan Pershing (US State Department)
- Jacqueline McGlade (European Environment Agency)
- Quamrul Chowdhury (Delegation of Bangladesh)
- Luz Melon (Argentina / G77)
- John Hay (UNFCCC Secretariat)
- Lucia Grenna (World Bank / Connect4Climate)
- Achim Halpaap (UNITAR / UN CC:Learn)
- Moderator: James Fahn (Internews’ Earth Journalism Network)
WEBSITES FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
- Earth Journalism Network - www.earthjournalism.org
- International Institute for Environment and Development - www.iied.org
- Internews - www.Internews.org
- Climate Change Media Partnership - www.climatemediapartnership.org
Thank You to Our Presenting Sponsor:
HP creates new possibilities for technology to have a meaningful impact on people, businesses, governments and society. The world’s largest technology company, HP brings together a portfolio that spans printing, personal computing, software, services and IT infrastructure at the convergence of the cloud and connectivity, creating seamless, secure, context-aware experiences for a connected world. HP demonstrates our commitment to environmental sustainability with carefully considered goals, programs and partners. We're responding to pressing issues, such as mitigating climate change and using energy more efficiently, by providing solutions that are transforming how people live, work and connect. www.hp.com/environment or www.hp.com