The Global Environment Facility (GEF) is a multilateral environmental fund that provides funding to assist low- and middle-income countries in meeting the objectives of international environmental conventions such as the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs), UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), and Minamata Convention on Mercury.
Since its establishment in 1991, the GEF has enabled environmental action by providing over $22 billion in grants and blended finance. Some of the GEF funding projects include the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF), which helps safeguard water resources, agriculture and food security, health, disaster risk management and prevention, infrastructure and fragile ecosystems. The GEF’s new climate adaptation strategy for the 2022-2026 period will support the adaptation needs of small island developing states (SIDS), and support countries to adopt climate-resilient technologies and adaptation solutions.
This fellowship to the GEF’s Seventh Assembly, which will be held from August 22-26 in Vancouver, Canada, will strengthen journalists’ capacity to cover real-time changes to global environmental and climate financing instruments and their implications.
The Assembly is the governing body of the GEF that includes representatives of all 185 member countries and is responsible for reviewing and approving proposed amendments to the GEF’s general policies, operations, and documents such as the Instrument for the Establishment of the Restructured Global Environment Facility.
Selected journalists will get a front-row seat as more than 1000 attendees from around the world, including ministers, prominent environmentalists, government officials, business leaders, leaders of GEF agencies, civil society representatives and Indigenous Peoples, gather to make progress on adaption strategies, private sector engagement, financing solutions, and to forge new partnerships focused on addressing the drivers of ecological challenges under the overarching theme of “Healthy Planet, Healthy People.”
The conference will include high-level roundtables, a Civil Society Forum on August 23, side events, and offer opportunities for participants to engage in environmental activities close to Vancouver.
Supported by the GEF, this opportunity enables journalists from low- and middle-income countries – which bear the brunt of climate impacts and are targeted recipients of GEF investments – to cover the Seventh Assembly of the Global Environment Facility (GEF), keeping their home audiences informed about environmental financing and governance. With the support of EJN mentors, fellows will report on these high-level decisions, interview experts to learn how outcomes will affect their countries’ policies and priorities and affect local communities.
Please note: EJN and the GEF are both confident this fellowship program will take place. However, due to unforeseen administrative delays, there is a small chance it may not be finalized soon enough for fellows to attend the Seventh Assembly. In the interest of time, however, we have decided to launch this call for applications, notwithstanding some uncertainty.
Eight journalists will be selected for the fellowship. In the leadup to the Assembly, EJN will share resources and tools with fellows to help prepare for reporting at the conference. While in Vancouver, fellows will participate in a series of specially designed activities, including an orientation on the key issues covered at this Assembly, daily briefings and interviews with high-level officials. They will be mentored by EJN trainers, who are senior journalists with experience in covering international environmental conferences. Trainers will offer valuable insight into the deliberations happening on the ground, and share feedback and guidance as needed to support Fellows’ story production. Fellows will also engage with their cohort and exchange ideas for effective reporting.
Format and language of publication: Journalists may produce stories in print, online, radio or broadcast formats. Stories produced as a result of this fellowship can be in any language. We ask that fellows provide summaries of their stories in English and translate at least one of their stories into English so it can be shared with a wider audience.
Acknowledgement of support: We fully respect journalists’ editorial independence, and throughout the conference, journalists are free to report as they see fit. We do ask, however, that published stories and/or broadcasts disclose EJN support by including this tagline: “This story was produced as part of a reporting fellowship to the Seventh GEF Assembly supported by Internews’ Earth Journalism Network.”
Republication rights: Those who are awarded grants are free to publish or broadcast stories produced as a result of the fellowship first in their affiliated media as long as Internews’ EJN, its partners and the grant funders are also given rights to edit, republish, broadcast and distribute them freely.
To be eligible for the fellowship, the applicant must:
- Be a professional journalist from or representing an established media house from a low- or middle-income country.
- Have previous experience reporting on environmental issues. Experience covering climate and environmental financing is a plus.
- Have good command of the English language.
- Be available to arrive in Vancouver by August 21, 2023 and commit to staying to cover the full week of the Assembly and participate in all fellowship activities.
- Provide a letter of support from an editor or media outlet, committing to publish or broadcast any stories produced as a result of this fellowship. This is expected of both staffers and freelancers.
- Submit recent, relevant samples of their journalistic work, which can be uploaded as documents or web links. Work samples can be in any language as long as they are accompanied by a short English synopsis.
- Journalists can be of any age, but preference will be given to youth journalists (age 35 and under).
Note: You'll be asked to upload these supporting documents once you start the application process, so please have them handy.
EJN reserves the right to disqualify applicants from consideration if they have been found to have engaged in unethical or improper professional conduct.
Applications for conference scholarships will be accepted until June 12, 2023. Decisions will be communicated before the end of June.
We are looking for applicants who meet the following criteria:
- Demonstrated experience covering environmental and climate topics.
- A clear and well-researched reporting plan for the conference, outlining the kinds of stories they will pursue from — and following — the conference, story ideas with the potential for impact and the audience reach of the proposed media outlet.
- A relationship with an established media house. We strongly encourage you to provide a signed letter of support from an editor agreeing to publish or broadcast work produced at the conference as part of your application.
EJN also considers the need to assemble a diverse cohort of journalists from different types of media houses and geographies.
Travel requirements and safety protocols
EJN will cover non-refundable economy-class airfare, accommodation, meals, travel insurance, and transportation costs to participate in the fellowship. Organizers will also reimburse meals and other transport expenses acquired in transit, including COVID testing; facilitate the press accreditation process; and provide logistical support relating to the trip. Please note that the process of obtaining any necessary visas is the Fellow's individual responsibility, though we can reimburse visa costs. Journalists awarded fellowships are responsible for their own safety during travel, and for ensuring that they meet any requirements for travel and attendance, which may include proof of vaccine status and/or testing for COVID-19 before and during the conference.
- Click the 'Apply Now' button at the top of the page.
- If you have an existing account, you'll need to log in. Since we recently updated our website, you might have to reset your password by clicking the “Forgot password?” link in the log in page. If you don’t have an account, you must register by clicking “Log in” on the top right of the page and click the “Sign up” link at the bottom of the page that opens. Click here for detailed instructions on how to create an account, and here for detailed instructions on how to reset your password.
- If you start the application and want to come back and complete it later, you can click 'Save Draft.' To return to the draft, you'll need to go back to the opportunity and click 'Apply now' again to finalize the application.
Applications submitted after the deadline will not be considered. Please consider submitting at least one day in advance of the deadline to avoid any issues.
If you encounter difficulties with submitting your application or have questions about the grants, please email [email protected]. Do not contact any other Internews email regarding this opportunity, as we will not receive it.
Banner image: The Vancouver skyline / Credit: Matt Wang via Unsplash.