EJN Awards Nine Media Grants to Enhance Environmental Reporting in the Asia-Pacific Region

Nilgiri Tahr

EJN Awards Nine Media Grants to Enhance Environmental Reporting in the Asia-Pacific Region

Globally, environmental factors contribute to 23% of all deaths worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. It is no longer sustainable for public health officials, conservationists and policymakers to work in silos – just as journalists must learn to straddle increasingly interconnected science, environmental and health beats. 

An integrated approach to raising awareness about the intrinsic linkages between human, environmental and animal health is key. These collaborations will not only help provide holistic, solutions-oriented outcomes, but can help drive support for policy action. 

But the media faces continuing challenges in covering these topics holistically, given shrinking newsrooms and limited resources for training and capacity-building, to name a few.  

For its current round of media grants, EJN received more than 80 applications. After a careful judging process, nine organizations from the Asia-Pacific region were awarded funding to advance multi-disciplinary responses to the environmental crisis in innovative ways: 

  • Tempo.co, Indonesia: Tempo will empower community members who live near the Gunung Leuser National Park (TNGL) and connect them with local media outlet Aceh Satu using the new citizen journalism platform Tempo Witness to expose illegal logging activities. 

  • The Mongolian Center for Investigative Reporters (MCIR), Mongolia: The MCIR will produce in-depth investigative reportage on desertification in Mongolia's Gobi region as a result of climate change, and its far-ranging impacts on the lives and livelihoods of Mongolian herders. This project will increase the awareness of climate change among the general population in Mongolia and encourage dialogue and discussions between local herders and lawmakers about the impact of overgrazing livestock. 

an animal skull in the desert
The harsh landscape of the Gobi desert / Credit: Kaz via Flickr

  • Climate Tracker, Philippines: Climate Tracker will connect regional journalists interested in climate reporting and link them to leading experts across the region to help produce powerful local stories. The project will bridge the gap between journalists and civil society organizations, experts and science communicators, while establishing a regional network for stakeholders and journalists to deepen the climate conversation. This project also aims to provide more training and workshops for emerging storytellers in Asia. 

  • Keystone Foundation, India: This non-governmental organization will highlight stories of the interdependence between humans, animals, and their shared spaces through the lived experience of Indigenous people and local communities within the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. The project will build capacity among Indigenous storytellers by training them to identify, describe and communicate these experiences with a diverse audience.  

  • Vietnamese Stature Foundation (VSF), Vietnam: VSF will work with women journalists (especially early-career journalists from ethnic minorities) to investigate and report on plastic pollution and plastic waste. The project will strengthen the capacity and leadership skills of participating journalists, and encourage dialogue between the media, government agencies, researchers, activists and related networks to strengthen public-private partnership efforts to reduce plastic pollution and waste.  

  • The Foundation for Community Educational Media (FCEM), Thailand: FCEM will work to improve the capacity of Thai journalists covering environmental issues through workshops and partnerships with civil society organizations (CSOs). The organization will produce six in-depth reports on environmental issues such as the impact of dams and development projects; loss of biodiversity, and deteriorating water quality in the Salween and Mekong river basins, among others.  

  • Barta1, Indonesia: Barta1 will increase and strengthen the capacity of media and journalists to report on the environmental impacts of nickel mining in North Sulawesi, Gorontalo and Halmahera. The project will support journalists to use investigative methods and data tools to reveal how the impacts of nickel extraction and processing have impacted the balance between nature, endemic animals and Indigenous peoples in the region.  

  • Dataful, Bangladesh: Dataful will improve climate data accessibility for journalists by cleaning, gathering and curating Bangladeshi climate data from different government sources in an open-source data bank, enabling journalists and researchers to include comprehensive and historical climate data  in their reporting on air quality, water flow, deforestation and other issues. 

  • Antenna Foundation Nepal (AFN), Nepal: Antenna Foundation will work to improve journalists' ability to report on environmental issues and One Health in a timely and ethical manner through the production of e-resources, training materials and mentorship. In addition, AFN will share the journalists’ stories with policymakers, corporations and other key stakeholders in Nepal. 

“We look forward to supporting this round of grantees to bring more public attention to the interdependence between environment and health, and to foster more cross-sectoral collaboration to drive positive change,” says Amy Sim Kok Eng, EJN Asia Pacific Manager. 

The grants are being awarded as part of the Earth Journalism Network’s Asia-Pacific project, which is funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida).  

Check the EJN website for further updates on our media grantees. 

Banner image: The Nilgiri Tahr / Credit: Rohit Varma via Flickr

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