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In-person and Virtual Fellowships for Journalists in Asia-Pacific to Cover the UN Biodiversity Conference (UNCBD COP15) and its Negotiating Session, 2022

Call for Applications
Published on
28 Apr 2022
a journalist speaking into a microphone on the streets of Glasgow
17 May 2022, 02:59 AM, Pacific/Niue (UTC -11) info.ejn [at]

Internews’ Earth Journalism Network (EJN) is pleased to announce a new fellowship for journalists in the Asia-Pacific region interested in attending – and reporting from – the UN CBD 2022, both in-person and remotely. 



Earth is home to millions of species whose interactions keep our ecosystems and our planet in balance. From an anthropogenic perspective, at least 40% of the world’s economy and 80% of the needs of the poor are dependent on biological resources. 

Yet, human activity is currently driving a sixth mass extinction, with more than 1 million species currently at risk of extinction. 

To address the biodiversity crisis, the draft goals for the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework include proposals to conserve 30% of the world’s oceans and land by 2030, to reduce pollution from pesticides, plastic waste, and nutrient excess by 50% by 2030, support integration of biodiversity-related information into business reporting and promote the sustainable harvest of wild species. 

At the upcoming United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (UN CBD) Negotiating Session to further outline the Framework to be held in Nairobi, Kenya, this May, and the 15th Conference of Parties (COP15), to be held in Kunming, China, in August, the world’s nations will gather to set targets and make commitments to address one of the most pressing issues of our time. 

Despite the uncertainty around travel due to the COVID-19 pandemic, EJN believes it is critical for environmental journalists, especially those from low and middle-income countries, to have the opportunity to attend and report directly from pivotal decision-making spaces, so long as they can do so safely.   

This fellowship opportunity is intended to enable journalists from the Asia-Pacific region to cover the UN CBD negotiations and COP15 for their home audiences.   

The fellowship will help journalists increase awareness of biodiversity issues and equip the public, policymakers and corporations with the information they need to address the drivers of biodiversity loss. 

Selected Fellows will attend the CBD negotiating session for the Global Biodiversity Framework, in-person from 21-26 June 2022 in Nairobi, Kenya. Fellows will also have the opportunity to remotely cover the proceedings of the CBD COP15, to be held in Kunming, China, in August 2022

This fellowship opportunity is made possible with the generous support of the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida).  


Judging Criteria   

Criteria for evaluating applicants include demonstrated interest and experience covering biodiversity and other environmental topics, clear reporting plans for the proposed conference, potential impacts of their reporting, the audience reach of the proposed media outlet, as well as gender balance and geographical distribution across the cohort.   



To be eligible for the fellowship, the applicant must:  

  • Be a professional journalist from or representing an established media house and reporting from the Asia-Pacific region. We especially encourage women, Indigenous journalists and early-career journalists to apply.   
  • Have previous experience reporting on environmental issues and clearly indicate the kinds of stories they might pursue while attending the conference.  
  • Commit to attending all days of both conferences (in-person in Nairobi, Kenya and remotely as negotiations unfold in Kunming, China). 
  • Permit copies of stories produced from the conference to be re-published on the EJN website and distributed via social media, with due credit being given to the original media outlet.  
  • 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 samples of their 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. Clips related to biodiversity issues are preferred.   

Note: You'll be asked to upload these supporting documents once you start the application process, so please have them handy. 


Fellowship logistics  

Applications for conference scholarships will be accepted until May 1, 2022. Decisions will be communicated before the end of May.   

Format and language of publication: Journalists may produce stories in print, online, radio or broadcast formats. Stories produced as a result of this scholarship can be in any language. We ask that Fellows provide summarizes 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: “The journalist was awarded a fellowship 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 scholarship first in their affiliated media as long as Internews’ EJN, its partners and the grant funders are also given rights to edit, publish, broadcast and distribute them freely.  


Travel requirements and safety protocols   

Journalists awarded fellowships are responsible for their own safety during travel, and for ensuring that they meet any requirements for travel and attendance. 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. 

Prior to the start of the CBD negotiating session, Fellows will receive resources and technical support to help prepare for reporting at the conference. Once in Nairobi, Fellows will participate in a series of specially designed activities, including an orientation session with biodiversity experts on the key issues at this COP, daily briefings, and interviews with high-level officials. They will also be guided by EJN trainers, who are senior journalists with experience in covering UN summits. 

Fellows are responsible for ensuring that they meet any requirements for travel to Nairobi, Kenya. Please note that during a time when many countries are still coping with the spread of COVID-19, there will be added risks and operational challenges involved with international travel. Applicants will be asked to indicate that they understand that participation in the Fellowship in-person in Nairobi requires compliance with government and venue requirements, which may include proof of vaccine status, mask mandates, quarantine protocols, and/or testing for COVID-19 before and during the conference. Applicants may be required to sign risk acknowledgment documentation indicating they understand and accept the risks associated with travel and partaking in in-person meetings during a COVID-19 pandemic. 

As part of the virtual reporting component to cover proceedings in Kunming, China, fellows will participate in a series of specially designed activities, including an orientation workshop, briefings, mentoring, and interviews with high-level officials. Veteran regional journalists will provide valuable insight into the deliberations happening on the ground, and share tools, resources, editing and guidance as needed to support Fellows’ story production. Fellows will have the opportunity to engage with their cohort and exchange ideas for effective reporting on the issues.  

All fellows will also receive a communications stipend, to ensure that they have consistent access to the virtual activities of the fellowship. 


Application process  

  • 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: EJN CCMP Fellow Muhammad Daud doing his piece to camera at the Fridays for Future march in Glasgow, covering COP26 for audiences in Pakistan / Credit: Sim Kok Eng Amy. 

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