30 Journalists Awarded Fellowships to Report on COP28 in Dubai

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30 Journalists Awarded Fellowships to Report on COP28 in Dubai

The Earth Journalism Network (EJN), a project of Internews, and the Stanley Center for Peace and Security are pleased to announce that 30 journalists from low- and middle-income countries have been awarded fellowships to cover the 28th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP28), as part of the Climate Change Media Partnership (CCMP) program. Twenty fellows will attend and report on COP28 in person in Dubai, United Arab Emirates from November 30 to December 12, 2023, and 10 fellows will cover the conference remotely from their home countries. 

COP28 will see the first-ever Global Stocktake since the Paris Agreement, assessing the progress by countries to date on climate mitigation, adaptation, and equitable implementation. The Fellows will receive support and guidance from seasoned climate journalists affiliated with EJN’s global network of trainers. 

The 20 fellows covering COP28 in Dubai will participate in orientation activities, daily briefings, interviews with high-level officials, and other interactions organized by the Stanley Center and EJN to inform and facilitate quality reporting on developments and outcomes at COP28.

The five fellows from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and five from Lower Mekong countries will cover COP28 remotely, with opportunities for mentorship, networking, and virtual interviews with officials and others at the conference. The MENA region continues to experience worsening climate effects such as more-frequent droughts and heat waves. The Mekong River Basin is likewise home to communities that are some of the most vulnerable in the world to climate impacts including erosion, sea level rise, and flooding. 

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change AR6 Synthesis Report states that climate change is an unequivocal threat to human well-being and planetary health, and the window of opportunity to secure a livable and sustainable future for all is rapidly closing. This year, the heat index in the Middle East, which produces a third of the world’s oil, climbed at times to an almost unsurvivable level for human beings, with temperatures rising at twice the rate of the global average. The UN climate negotiations will convene in Dubai amid increasing calls for developed countries—who have historically been the most responsible for burning fossil fuels and driving climate change—to fully meet their obligations and commitments to provide climate finance to low- and middle-income countries.

EJN, along with Panos London and the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), formed the CCMP in 2007 to enable journalists from low- and middle-income countries to attend and report from the annual UN climate summits. This year marks the fifth time the Stanley Center and EJN have collaborated on the CCMP fellowship program. Since launching in 2007, the CCMP has supported more than 400 journalists to report on location from the annual UN climate summit. Without support such as this, people in low- and middle-income countries—which bear the brunt of climate change despite contributing relatively little to global emissions—might have had to rely solely on global wire services for news about UN climate negotiations.

“Policies in response to climate change will have impacts now and for generations to come,” said Devon Terrill, Program Officer for Journalism and Media at the Stanley Center. “Journalists from climate-vulnerable countries will be in a unique position at COP28 to shine a light on how nations and international institutions respond—or fail to respond—to this pivotal moment of the climate emergency.”

This year, the CCMP’s global open call for applications drew a record number of nearly 600 applications from climate journalists around the world. Fellows were selected by a panel of international judges following two rounds of review and interviews with shortlisted applicants. 

The CCMP Fellows covering COP28 in person are:

  • Afifa Nasar Ullah (Pakistan)
  • Ahang Habib Hawrami (Iraq)
  • Jee Geronimo (Philippines)
  • Chiamaka Okafor (Nigeria)
  • Daniela Quintero Díaz (Colombia)
  • El Mahjoub Dasaa (Morocco)
  • Erika Kurnia (Indonesia)
  • Eugenia Akorfa Kumi (Ghana)
  • Fredrick Kusu (Solomon Islands)
  • Jacob Walter Ochieng (Kenya)
  • Jamaila Maitland (Jamaica)
  • Kann Vicheika (Cambodia)
  • Kannikar Petchkaew (Thailand)
  • Letícia Klein (Brazil)
  • Matias Avramow (Argentina)
  • Sahar Mohammed Al-Shameri (Yemen)
  • Sarah Khazem (Syria)
  • Simrin Sirur (India)
  • Uzmi Athar (India)
  • Zeina Moneer (Egypt)

The CCMP Fellows covering COP28 remotely are:

MENA Cohort

  • Undisclosed*
  • Mohamed Ouerghi (Tunisia)
  • Hadeer Elhadary (Egypt)
  • Razan Abdelhadi (Jordan)
  • Sanar Hasan (Iraq)

Mekong Cohort

  • Kieu Thoan Thu (Vietnam)
  • Ploythida Ketkaew (Thailand)
  • Quach Thi Kieu Mai (Vietnam)
  • Samanachan Buddhajak (Thailand)
  • Sutheemon Kumkoom (Thailand)

The seven trainers from EJN’s global network who will support and guide the 28 fellows are:

  • Dalia Abdel-Salam (Egypt)
  • David Akana (Cameroon)
  • Fermín Koop (Argentina)
  • Imelda Abaño (Philippines)
  • Joydeep Gupta (India)
  • Paritta Wangkiat (Thailand) 
  • Khaled Sulaiman (Iraq)  

“Interest in the COP is greater than ever among the media, as demonstrated by the record number of CCMP applications we received, so we’re pleased to be able to support this talented group of journalists,” said James Fahn, EJN’s Executive Director. “In addition to the global stocktaking process that will take place at COP28, this will be a particularly important summit to shine a spotlight on climate change in the Middle East region."

The CCMP COP28 Reporting Fellowship program is co-organized by Internews’ EJN and the Stanley Center. Financial support for EJN has been provided by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), the Marisla Foundation, and the Flora Family Foundation.

*Note: Per their request, we are protecting the anonymity of fellows reporting from sensitive regions. 

About the Earth Journalism Network

Internews’ Earth Journalism Network (EJN) empowers and enables journalists to cover the environment more effectively, with over 20,000 members from more than 180 countries. With a mission to improve the quantity and quality of environmental coverage, EJN trains journalists to cover a wide variety of topics, supports the production of diverse environmental media content—including investigative stories—and develops ground-breaking digital media sites. EJN establishes networks of environmental journalists in countries where they don't exist, and builds their capacity where they do, through workshops and development of training materials, fellowship programs, support for story production and distribution, and small grants. For more information, please visit earthjournalism.net.

About the Stanley Center for Peace and Security

The Stanley Center for Peace and Security partners with people, organizations, and the greater global community to drive policy progress in three issue areas—mitigating climate change, avoiding the use of nuclear weapons, and preventing mass violence and atrocities. The center was created in 1956 and maintains its independence while developing forums for diverse perspectives and ideas. To realize its vision of a secure and enduring peace, the center designs and implements programming activities through projects and partnerships that span the globe. The center values independent, accurate journalism and the role journalists and the media play in building better-informed societies, more accountable institutions, and effective global governance. To learn more, please visit stanleycenter.org.

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