EJN launches three-year project to boost climate resilience in the Bay of Bengal region

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Earth Journalism Network, Bay of Bengal, India

Photo by WBK Photography

Internews’ Earth Journalism Network (EJN) is pleased to announce the launch of a new project focused on improving media coverage of climate resilience in the Bay of Bengal region. For the next three years, EJN will support the work of journalists, educators and civil society actors to produce and distribute reliable, actionable information to vulnerable coastal communities in Bangladesh and Eastern India.

The project is being carried out in close collaboration with our regional partner The Third Pole, and is being supported by a grant from the Climate Justice Resilience Fund.

The project commences with an in-depth analysis of the information ecosystem in representative geographies and contexts across the region. Already underway, this process will continue through mid-May with the goal of improving our understanding of the conditions that affect information flows through communities and how, if at all, information is used to spur action on the issues of water access, food security and sovereignty, sustainable livelihoods and migration.

The assessment will place particular focus on the experience of women, youth and marginalized communities, groups that often face significantly greater barriers to accessing information while simultaneously facing a complex set of socio-environmental challenges that limit their capacity to adapt to impacts of climate change. This initial research phase is being led by the Centre for Media Studies, based in New Delhi.

As part of our Bay of Bengal Initiative, EJN has hired three new staff members in the region: Project Coordinator Gopichandran Ramchandran, based in New Delhi; Project Coordinator Zobaidur Rahman, based in Dhaka; and Program Associate Puneet Krishnan, based in New Delhi. Ramchandran and Rahman bring considerable experience to the project with backgrounds in climate science and transboundary water resource management, respectively.

Prior to joining EJN, Ramchandran worked as the Principal Research Scientist on Environment and Climate Change at Gujarat Energy Research and Management Institute. He also has extensive experience bridging gaps between researchers, the media and affected communities through his work on numerous engagement projects and local adaptation initiatives.

Rahman joins the project after a number of years working with The Third Pole on media training programs and workshops. In 2013, he designed and organized an International Media Training on Shared Resources that brought journalists from Bangladesh, India and Nepal together to discuss multilateral efforts to tackle issues of water access and biodiversity conservation.

With over a decade of experience supporting environmental journalists and media networks in Asia, this project will deepen EJN’s commitment to the region by strengthening existing ties and forging new partnerships with people and organizations committed to building climate resiliency in India and Bangladesh. In addition to holding focus groups with local communities to identify information needs and gaps, EJN will hold trainings and provide yearly organizational and reporting grants. Our first round of story grants will be open for applications in April, 2018.