EJN Fellows Travel to Nairobi and Lisbon to Cover International Environmental Conferences

Fellows in Nairobi
EJN Fellows Travel to Nairobi and Lisbon to Cover International Environmental Conferences

As travel restrictions ease two years into the pandemic, this season has been marked by the return of in-person international conferences – global gatherings that in many cases, were postponed since 2020. 

Despite the uncertainty that remains due to Covid-19, 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.     

To that end, we are pleased to announce we have awarded Fellowships to 11 journalists from the Asia-Pacific region, who are currently in Nairobi, Kenya to cover the UN Convention on Biological Diversity’s negotiating session for the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, as part of our Asia-Pacific project supported by Sida.  

Reporting for their home audiences from Nairobi, Kenya from 21-26 June are: 

  1. Tsogzolmaa Shofyor, Mongolia (Unread Media) 
  2. Soon Li Wei, Malaysia (Malaysian National News Agency) 
  3. Ain Bandial, Brunei (The Scoop) 
  4. Yian Lee, Taiwan (Initium Media) 
  5. Arul Karki, Sri Lanka (Tinakkural Newspaper) 
  6. Aruna Chandrasekhar, India (Carbon Brief) 
  7. Murad Khan, Pakistan (Suno FM 89.4 and Pakhtunkhwa Radio Mohmand) 
  8. Diwakar Pyakurel, Nepal (Online Khabar) 
  9. Ibrahim Khalilullah, Bangladesh (Jamuna Television) 
  10. Monika Mondal, India (The Wire) 
  11. Asad Zia, Pakistan (eNews) 

They will follow proceedings on the ground as world leaders discuss 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 and negotiate how to safeguard the sustainable and equitable use of wild species. The Fellows are being mentored by EJN’s Imelda Abaño, Stella Paul and Michael Salzwedel, and will be remotely supported by award-winning investigative journalist and author, Mark Schapiro.  

Meanwhile, nine Fellows from around the world have arrived in Portugal to cover the UN Ocean Conference as part of our UN Ocean project, supported by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation (UK Branch).

Reporting for their media outlets live from Lisbon from 27 June – 1 July are: 

  1. Banani Mallick, Bangladesh (The Daily Observer) 
  2. Daniela Chiaretti, Brazil (Jornal Valor Econômico) 
  3. Jeremias Chemane, Mozambique (Radio Mozambique) 
  4. Kevin Assunção Damásio, Brazil (National Geographic Brasil) 
  5. María Gabriela Vizental, Argentina (America TV) 
  6. Patrícia Figueiredo, Brazil (G1) 
  7. Yogi Tujuliarto, Indonesia (CNN Indonesia TV) 
  8. Tracy Keeling, United Kingdom (The Canary) 
  9. Nelson Camuto, Angola (Radio Ecclesia) 

This conference is the second ocean-focused convening led by the UN. In light of increasing evidence that the ocean is degrading as a result of human activity (from climate change to overfishing to pollution to oil and gas exploration), leaders will aim to further progress towards UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14: Life Below Water, by adopting an intergovernmental declaration on science-based and innovative areas of action, along with a list of voluntary commitments to support SDG14 implementation. 

Our UN Ocean Fellows are being mentored by media trainers and veteran journalists Ricardo Garcia (formerly with leading Portuguese daily Público) and EJN’s Lucy Calderón Pineda.  

Attendance at such conferences is vital in ensuring that otherwise under-represented voices are part of the discussion, and that journalists have the knowledge and skills they need to report on the actions of negotiators – giving the public much-needed information to hold policymakers accountable to their commitments.  

Follow @earthjournalism on Twitter for live updates from Nairobi and Lisbon and look out for these Fellows’ stories on our website in coming weeks.  

Banner image: EJN Asia-Pacific CBD Fellows in front of the UN sign in Nairobi / Credit: Juthamas Sukitjanont. 

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