Vulnerable and under-represented populations—in particular women, youth, and indigenous communities—often have the most at stake when it comes to climate change but their voices are rarely heard, in either local media or internationally. Climate change policy and decision makers need to start hearing their stories.
In an effort to amplify these voices in local and international media, convey grassroots concerns to policymakers, and help meet the growing demand for actionable knowledge on climate, EJN is excited to announce the Human Dimensions of Climate Change project.
Funded by the Oak Foundation, the two-year project will focus on uncovering and reporting on the human impacts of climate change. Objectives include building the capacity of journalists to raise public understanding of underrepresented issues related to the human dimensions of climate change; reporting stories that highlight what is at stake for those most vulnerable in key regions of the world; and supporting collaboration, knowledge sharing and learning through networking journalists working in places that face similar challenges.
The project offers four distinct grant types:
- Earth Journalism Grants fund: supports local capacity building for reporting on human dimensions of climate change.
- Climate Educators Fund: supports educational projects for a new generation of climate communicators and journalists.
- Climate Communications Innovation Fund: supports the development and introduction of novel storytelling approaches.
- There will also be a fund to support the production of individual stories on human dimensions of climate change.
Additional activities will include mentorship opportunities through the Earth Journalism Network and our Council of Partners, fellowships, trainings and webinars, and enhancing EJN’s regional GeoJournalism platforms to establish an interactive global platform for climate change data and stories.
These activities will be deeply integrated into EJN’s ongoing work in education, networked journalism, and GeoJournalism. The project also presents an opportunity to focus on cultivating the network itself. As such, EJN will push to increase network membership of journalists representing vulnerable groups or regions, and provide them with mentorship and resources to more effectively tell their communities’ stories to an international audience.
Leading up to the precedent-setting United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of the Parties 21 (COP) this December, the project will concentrate primarily on supporting journalists to cover the issues and outcomes of COP 21. In year two, the focus will shift to adaptation and resilience. At all points, the project will strive to make underrepresented voices on climate heard by ensuring a responsive and talented media environment that puts vulnerable and under-represented populations at the center of the climate discourse.