EJN Grantees and Others Share their Best Environmental Stories of 2021

a golden tiger in a zoo.

EJN Grantees and Others Share their Best Environmental Stories of 2021

Last month, as part of EJN’s customary year-end social media campaign, we asked environmental journalists around the world to share the story they were most proud to have produced in 2021.  

We were thrilled (and overwhelmed!) to receive nearly 100 entries in the final weeks of the year, hearing from journalists from across Asia, the Middle East, Africa, the Americas and Europe. Some of these journalists were EJN grantees, while others weren’t yet part of our network. But each of them contributed to improving the quality and quantity of environmental media worldwide, and we’re eager to share these highlights with you.  

Here’s a short roundup of some of the stories sent in by EJN grantees: 

  • From Ecuador, Franklin Vega submitted his story on artisanal fishers in the Galapagos. “For me, it is one of my favorite notes because I managed to highlight the problems of one of the most neglected sectors of Galapagos. In the islands, they do not like to talk about those topics and even less that they are published,” he said.  
  • From Mexico comes Santiago Navarro F’s eye-opening story on how a railway project will bisect the territories of Indigenous communities in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec.  

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  • From South Africa, Bongani Siziba submitted her uplifting story on community-led efforts to curb illegal fishing.  
  • Tanzania’s Beatrice Philemon shared her story on a village’s fight against deforestation. “I chose this story because forest conservation has helped villagers to earn cash to implement village development projects and assist government to earn revenue collection,” she said.  
  • From Yemen, the Holm Akhdar team shared this story on open landfills in Yemeni cities and their impact on the entire ecological system, including food, water safety and the health of communities. The story highlighted the mixing of medical and municipal waste in poorly designed landfills. 
  • From Russia, Angelina Davydova shared her story on Russia’s dependence on oil and natural gas, “an important source of not only money, but pride” to Russians. “This was one of my stories from 2021 I feel particularly proud of. I spent quite a lot of time on research, I spoke to many people (experts) from Russia, the US, Norway, Germany, I read a book (!), I looked at a lot of data and research and I tried to imagine what the future could be, taking both the challenges and opportunities into account,” she said.  

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  • From Bangladesh, Banani Mallick shared her report on how climate change-induced salinity is affecting women’s reproductive health. “I tried to draw attention to the policymakers so that they would adopt some projects for women's development that truly help to change such situations. We know in the coastal areas the government has different projects like plantations and construction of embankments. but such projects hardly bring any positive change to the life of the coastal women,” she said. 
  • From Pakistan comes Amar Guriro’s story on air pollution in the metropolis of Karachi.  
  • And from India, we received entries on how climate change is driving human trafficking from Anup Dutta, how fragmented forest habitats are exacerbating inbreeding among tigers from Mubina Akhtar, and how India’s fossil-fueled Covid-19 recovery plans are displacing tribal communities in the country’s coal belt, from Sushmita, among many others.  

We received dozens of suggestions from beyond the EJN network of grantees, too. Here are some of the notable stories we read from environmental journalists who participated in the Twitter campaign:  

  • From Kevin Damasio in Brazil, a story that explains the science behind the 2021 drought in Brazil, the worst the country has experienced in nearly a century.  
  • From Taiwan’s Pei Yua-Hu, comes a report on China’s revised coal policy and its impact on the rest of the world. “The story is a timely analysis of China's overseas coal plant moratorium announcement, and it features voices from Chinese energy industry insiders and civil society organization members from six developing Asian countries,” she said.  
  • From Lucinda Rouse in Liberia comes this story, in which she wanted to “shed light on and better understand the motivations of the actors operating on the bottom rungs of the transnational illegal wildlife trade."

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And here’s a few more, from: 

  • Mavic Conde, on food security in the Philippines 
  • Sanjib Choudhary, on the return of the rufous-necked hornbill to Nepal 
  • Raquel Muigai, on drought in Kenya 
  • Judit Alonso, on the environmental impacts of an airport expansion in Barcelona, Spain 
  • Dola Mitra, on the plight of communities affected by sea level rise in the Sunderbans, India 

We look forward to supporting – and reading, viewing or hearing – more compelling environmental stories in 2022, and sharing them with our network.  

Search for #YourBestStory on Twitter to read more entries. 


Banner image: A ‘golden tiger’ in a zoo — these animals are often an outcome of inbreeding and are extremely rare in wild populations / Credit: Dave Pape via Wikimedia Commons. 

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