EJN Awards Grants to 14 Asian Organizations Focused on Expanding Access to Environmental Information

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EJN, Asia Pacific, Bay of Bengal

Internews’ Earth Journalism Network has selected 14 organizations as recipients of its annual media grants supported by our Asia-Pacific and Bay of Bengal projects. The competitive grant program is an opportunity for media, civil society organizations and academic institutions throughout Asia and the Pacific to think critically and creatively about how to build local resources for reporting and information exchange around climate change, natural resource management and the environment.

The Society of Indonesian Environmental Journalists (SIEJ) holds an environmental training in Bali, Indonesia, in partnership with CI Indonesia / Credit SIEJ

This year’s call for proposal consisted of two lots: Lot 1 for groups that focus on any environmental topic in the Asia-Pacific region at around US$20,000 per grant; and Lot 2 for groups working in the Bay of Bengal region (coastal Bangladesh and eastern India) and focusing specifically on climate resilience and adaptation. These grants average around US$15,000.

A total of 70 applications were received representing different countries and sub-regions in Asia and the Pacific.  Following two rounds of review, the judging panel made up of EJN staff members, selected grantees based on the quality of their ideas, the fit with the grant objectives and the financial feasibility of their projects.

The selected projects cover a range of topics and approaches.

In the Philippines, the Center for Women's Resources will lead a program called #HerStoryOurStory to train and mentor young journalists and community reporters on socio-environmental news related to gender-based violence. Another grantee, Mongabay, will work with the Philippines Network of Environmental Journalists to launch Mongabay Environews Philippines, an environmental news website that will geotag stories.”

The Myanmar Journalism Institute will organize a series of intensive environmental reporting workshops and a mentorship program for journalists in that country, while The Centre for Myanmar Media Development will create an online database of environmental resources in Burmese for journalists.

In the Pacific, the University of the South Pacific Journalism Program will bring journalism students to carry out climate change reporting in two Pacific island countries. 

Other grantees will undertake projects that include strengthening Thai journalists’ ability to cover transboundary environmental issues in neighboring countries and at multi-stakeholder forums; providing story grants for journalists to investigate the impacts of climate change on coffee cultivation in Indonesia; and establishing an online platform to allow for information exchanges and collaboration between local journalists, farmers, youth and women’s unions in the Mekong Delta to report on environmental issues.

In India, CGNet Swara will organize citizen journalism and right-to-information workshops for local indigenous communities, which are often highly vulnerable to environmental changes. It will also use digital technologies to map mining impacts and collect community information.

Aaranyak, another Indian grantee, will host a series of activities to help enhance journalism students’ environmental reporting abilities with a focus on biodiversity and establish an online platform to publish their stories.

For the Bay of Bengal region, our grantees in Bangladesh and eastern India will be implementing projects that train and support local journalists, civil society organizations and human rights activists on climate-change consequences, such as increased drought, cyclones and extreme weather events as well as other impacts felt in the region from human activity, such as planned coal plants.

The focus of these activities will be on how to include minority voices in discussions of these issues and how to enhance stories with data and evidence. Networks will also be set up through social media and email lists bringing together local, national and international journalists with climate change activists and experts. The grantees also aim to identify and discuss the challenges of access to information in the region.

RECIPIENTS OF ASIA-PACIFIC MEDIA GRANTS

Name of Organization Location Name of Project
CGNet Swara India Engaging communities and tribal groups on ethical mining
Aaranyak India Capacity building and Platform Development for environmental journalism
Mongabay Philippines     Platform Development: Mongabay Environews Philippines
Thai Society of Environmental Journalists Thailand Reporting on the southern Economic Corridor of the Greater Mekong Subregion
Lembaga Studi Pers dan Pembangunan Indonesia Reporting on Coffee and Climate Change
Myanmar Journalism Institute Myanmar Strengthening Capacity & Networking with Environmental experts
Center for Women's Resources Philippines #HerStoryOurStory: Digital Storytelling on Women and Environment
Centre for Myanmar Media Development Myanmar Improving sources diversity and quality for Media coverage of Environment issues
Mekong Environment Forum Vietnam Report, Respond & Restore – online platform
The University of the South Pacific Journalism Program Fiji Adapting to and mitigating effects of climate change and island sea level rise

RECIPIENTS OF BAY OF BENGAL GRANTS

Name of Organization Location Name of Project
Badabon Sangho Bangladesh     Promoting awareness on local Climate Change context through data and evidence
Madurai Kamaraj University India Climate Change Communication on Resilience and Adaptation for Media in Bay of Bengal
COAST Trust and Journalists Network of Bengal Delta  Bangladesh Capacity Building of local media for greater Resilience through Policy and Behavioral change
Development of Humane Action Foundation India VOICE OF VULNERABLE: Hearing the unheard