In island countries (also known as island states or island nations), environmental threats, food- and water insecurity and socioeconomic challenges are amplified. Climate impacts, from typhoons to sea level rise, are an existential threat.
Most island country economies – in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond – depend heavily on external markets for imported goods and services such as tourism, and on natural resource extraction through mining, logging and fishing.
To support journalists in island countries to report on these unique threats and to highlight efforts at environmental stewardship and climate action more effectively, EJN, through its Asia-Pacific project, selected 14 journalists across the region for 12 story grants.
Here are the new grantees:
- Anastasia Ika, Indonesia (Floresa)
- Clifford Faik, Papua New Guinea (Sunday Bulletin Weekly)
- Finlan Adhitya Aldan & Bayu Asya Isminanda, Indonesia (Garda Animalia)
- Franklin Y. Cimatu, Philippines (Baguio Chronicle)
- Glenys Octania, Indonesia (Kompas TV)
- Irwin Angiki, Solomon Islands (Island Sun)
- Jeremy Gwao, Solomon Islands (Tavuli News)
- Jezreel Ines, Philippines (Rappler)
- Kalavarshny Kanagaratnam, Sri Lanka (Virakesari)
- Keith Kristoffer P. Bacongco , Philippines (Manila Bulletin)
- Robby Irfany Maqoma , Indonesia (The Conversation, Indonesia)
- Shumais Mohamed & Amila Lankapura, Maldives & Sri Lanka (Dharivaru)
Over the next several months, with support from EJN mentors, selected journalists will shed light on several critical issue for their home audiences, including the devastation caused by dynamite fishing in Solomon Islands’ Langalanga lagoon, the impacts of tourism and pollution on the reef ecosystem and marine protected areas surrounding Indonesia’s Gili Trawangan, the effects of unregulated gem mining in Sri Lanka, which has carved vast pits out of its hill country and endangered people and livestock, and efforts by the Maldives to combat plant diseases and invasive insects brought in with the import of coconut trees intended to beautify resort landscapes.
"Islands have rich and unique ecosystems that are facing the brunt of climate change and environmental degradation. Through this round of story grants, we are supporting journalists at the front line of these threats to report not only about the challenges island communities face but also what they are doing to secure their livelihoods, identity and culture that are inseparable from their environments," said Amy Sim, Senior Asia Program Manager, EJN.
Look out for their stories on the EJN website later this year.
Banner image: Developers have been found to uproot coconut trees from nearby atolls for their resorts, and have also imported trees – along with the pests and diseases they carry – into the fragile Maldives ecosystem / Credit: Jasmine Halki via Flickr.