Communities living in coastal regions face existential risks due to climate change. Currently, around 40% of the world's population lives within 100 kilometers of a coast, putting them on the frontlines of climate change’s worst impacts. By 2050, the world's 136 largest coastal cities could face damages of between $1.6 to $3.2 trillion from sea level rise alone without adaptation. Even worse, many of them could be partially underwater. The latest IPCC report underscored what communities living on the edge between land and sea have long known: Without deep cuts to emissions, their prospects are "dismal."
Yet, communities and policymakers in coastal areas lack access to information about solutions to build resilience to climate change. Media and other information providers in coastal areas need resources in order to communicate complicated climate change information about coastal issues effectively.
To fill this gap, EJN is embarking on a 2-year project (2022-2024) focused on coastal resilience issues, with the support of The Kingfisher Foundation, to provide funding and mentorship to journalists, communicators and media outlets around the world with the aim of increasing media coverage of this critical issue in coastal areas.
The project will support at least 30 journalists to cover in-depth stories about coastal resilience issues including ecosystem restoration and rehabilitation, livelihood and food security, shelter and infrastructure, coastal development and planning, land use, managed retreat, migration and more. Along with these thematic areas, EJN also plans to support journalists working on cross-border stories, particularly those focused on highlighting shared solutions and similarities across regions.
To boost the capacity of media outlets, NGOs, academic institutions or other relevant groups interested in improving media coverage of coastal resilience issues, EJN will provide at least three organizational grants as part of this project. Selected organizations will receive funding from EJN to conduct projects such as workshop series, enterprise or investigative stories and the development of online courses or other resources.
Additionally, this project seeks to expand the resources available to journalists on this topic with nine webinars over two years focused on different thematic areas within coastal resilience. These webinars will serve a global audience and give journalists the chance to speak with experts from around the world whom they may not otherwise have been able to reach.
As a complement to the webinars, EJN will also develop at least five tipsheets and written guides directed at journalists looking to cover coastal resilience. Designed in collaboration with coastal resilience experts and journalists experienced in covering coastal issues, these reporter resources will provide story ideas, reporting tips and scientific information to assist journalists with their stories. Designed to be evergreen, we anticipate these resources will be useful for years to come.
Trusted, clear, timely and actionable information is needed to address vulnerabilities associated with climate change and to support building resilience. By improving the quality and quantity of this information, this project will help communities advocate for their needs and policymakers seeking to implement measures to build resilience in coastal communities around the world.
Check our website for further updates.
Banner image: Neist Point on the Isle of Skye, Scotland / Credit: Frank Winkler via Pixabay.