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EJN Awards 17 Story Grants to Indigenous and Latin American Journalists

EJN staff member Stella Paul wearing an orange outfit and a hat writing on a notepad while she speaks with an Indigenous women dressed in dark blue who is knitting

In a year where journalists and media outlets have struggled to support themselves, report the truth and stay safe, EJN is proud to announce we have awarded 17 new story grants to journalists in 15 countries. These grants will support the production of in-depth stories about critical environmental issues, including climate change, development, resource extraction, Indigenous land rights, international policy and more.

We will be launching additional opportunities in the coming months, and we look forward to supporting these journalists to continue their important work.

12 grants awarded for Indigenous environmental journalists

EJN’s Indigenous Environmental Journalism project, supported by the Nia Tero Foundation, focuses on providing funding and mentorship to Indigenous journalists globally. The 12 selected journalists, chosen from a total of 75 applications that we received, come from diverse Indigenous communities spanning a dozen countries and are already beginning work on their projects, which will be published by the end of the year.

These in-depth stories will focus on environmental challenges facing Indigenous communities around the world, told by Indigenous journalists themselves. Grantees in Uganda, Zimbabwe, Brazil, the Philippines and Nigeria will investigate how unrestricted development and resource exploitation threatens Indigenous livelihoods, while grantees in Lesotho, Zambia, Kenya and Colombia will explore traditional knowledge and ecosystem management. In Ghana, Mexico and Indonesia, grantees will also be reporting on land rights and livelihood loss.

"Each of our grantees has access to stories that need urgent attention but have remained unreported so far,” said Stella Paul, an Indigenous journalist serving as the mentor for this project. “With this grant, they are finally able to travel to the heart of the indigenous territories, spend considerable time to investigate the issue and use multimedia tools which they could not do earlier due to lack of resources.”

Full list of Indigenous grantees:

  • Richard Vera Poty Gabriel, Brazil
  • Pascalinah Kabi, Lesotho
  • Francisco Santiago Navarro, Mexico
  • Elfredah Kevin-Alerechi, Nigeria
  • Diana Taremwa Karakire, Uganda
  • Locadia Mavhudzi, Zimbabwe
  • Johana Fernanda Sanchez Jaramillo, Colombia
  • Wesley Lang’at, Kenya
  • Cindy Sipula, Zambia
  • Mahmud Mohammed-Nurudeen, Ghana
  • Gerson Merari Saleleubaja, Indonesia
  • Karlston Lapniten, Philippines*

*Lapniten will be supported by EJN’s Asia-Pacific Project.

Five grants awarded on environmental policy in Latin America

In partnership with the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars, EJN is supporting stories exploring international diplomacy and Latin American environmental policy. The project aims to provide new insights into Latin America’s environmental problems, including extractive industries, deforestation, illegal and unregulated fishing and more. We received 37 applications in response to our call for applications, which specifically targeted the Latin American region – including Central America, South America, and the Caribbean – and we have a waitlist of several good proposals that we simply didn’t have the funds to support.

The five journalists selected are based in Mesoamerica and South America, and cover topics including international trawling in Brazil, illegal shark fishing in Mexico, the establishment of massive pig farms in Argentina, the impact of the salmon industry on an Indigenous community in Chile, and biodiversity exploitation in Guyana.  

“With the support from EJN, grantees will be able to make the necessary field visits to produce robust environmental stories,” said Lucy Calderón, EJN’s Latin America Stories Mentor. “As the Covid-19 pandemic continues all over the world, our grantees are following country restrictions and adapting activities to maintain social distancing measures.” 

The list of Latin American environmental policy grantees includes:

  • Melina Harris, Guyana
  • Emilio Godoy, Mexico
  • Greta di Girolamo Harsanyi, Chile
  • Andrea Ana Gálvez, Argentina
  • Aldem Bourscheit, Brazil

Stay tuned on our website and social media to read the stories from both projects later this year.

Banner image: EJN’s Environment and Health Project Officer, Stella Paul, interviewing an Indigenous woman for a story. Paul, an Indigenous journalist, is serving as the mentor for EJN’s Indigenous project / Credit: Stella Paul.