EJN Fellowship Brings Reporters to the Heart of United Nations Climate Change Negotiations

CCMP fellows in Madrid

EJN Fellowship Brings Reporters to the Heart of United Nations Climate Change Negotiations

Starting in 2007, Internews’ Earth Journalism Network (EJN) began bringing groups of journalists from around the world to cover the annual United Nations climate summit through our Climate Change Media Partnership (CCMP). With much of the world’s attention focused on what the outcome of these climate negotiations will mean for the future of our planet – particularly the future of carbon markets – our support for these journalists is vital.

The CCMP Fellowship provides journalists who usually wouldn’t have the ability to travel to these global gatherings with both unparalleled access to the discussions and related events and also increased understanding of climate issues through workshops and mentorship.

Its aim is to improve media coverage of climate change in critically affected regions and countries, thereby increasing public engagement on the impacts of this major environmental threat. Without this type of coverage, these reporters’ home audiences may hear very little about the negotiations or understand the relevance to their lives – all the more important since they often bear the brunt of these changes.

This year, EJN supported 17 journalists – 13 Fellows and four senior journalists who also serve as trainers, editors and mentors -- to attend the 25th Conference of Parties (COP25) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, where world leaders were expected to hammer out the guidelines and next steps for reducing climate-altering greenhouse gas emissions. (That didn't quite happen, as you'll see from our coverage).

The COP was originally scheduled to be held in Santiago, Chile – and the Chilean government still managed the negotiations – but its location was moved to Madrid in early November due to civil unrest in Chile, necessitating massive logistical adjustments by all the participants, including EJN. We are very pleased that despite numerous hurdles, including increased costs, EJN still managed to bring all the Fellows we selected to the COP in Madrid.

CCMP Fellows on the town
This year's CCMP Fellows made time to get learn from one another, and have some fun.

The reporters came from a range of countries and regions facing some of the greatest threats from climate change – everything from rising sea levels in coastal Bangladesh and Indonesia to desertification in Malawi, droughts in South Africa, forest fires in Brazil (sparked by encroaching agriculturalists) to changes in wildlife migration in Kenya. They are as follows:

  • Adele Machado Santelli: TV Cultura, Brazil
  • Citlali Aguilera: RadioMás, Radio y Televisión de Veracruz, Mexico
  • Alberto Guerra Niquen: La Mula, Peru
  • Arif Ahmad: Kompas News, Indonesia
  • Dizzanne Billy: Caribbean Insight, Trinedad & Tobago
  • Josephine Okojie: BusinessDay, Nigeria
  • GM Mostafizul Alam: Channel 24, Bangladesh
  • Julio Batista: Periodismo de Barrio, Cuba
  • Sellina Nkowani: Nation Publications Limited, Malawi
  • Tunicia Phillips: KayaFM, South Africa
  • Shakoor Rather: Press Trust of India (PTI), India
  • Zablon Mark Oloo, Kenya
  • Karen Tatiana Pardo Ibarra: El Tiempo, Colombia
  • Joydeep Gupta: The Third Pole and India Climate News, India
  • Imelda Abano: Mongabay Environews, the Philippines
  • Fermin Koop: Dialogo Chino, Argentina
  • Maria Clara Valencia: Colombia

EJN’s CCMP Fellowship also supports Fellows to build networks through which they can share resources and knowledge even after the program finishes, and this group certainly hit the ground running.

In addition to their stories being published or broadcast on their home media outlets, many of them have also been distributed on EJN’s social media feeds and on our website.

The CCMP Fellowship program was supported this year thanks to generous funding from the European Climate Foundation, the Global Environment Facility and the Climate Justice Resilience Fund.

Partners in previous years have included the International Institute for Environment and Development, Panos and the Stanley Center for Peace and Security, which collaborated with EJN again this year to help host the CCMP’s Orientation Day in Madrid ahead of the summit.