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EJN Awards Eight Grants to Asia-Pacific Media Organizations to Improve Coverage of Interconnected Climate, Environmental and Health Crises

smog filled skyline of Ulaan Baatar

The health and wellbeing of the environment go hand in hand with the health and wellbeing of animals and humankind. All three are interdependent on each other – when one gets out of sorts, the others are affected.  

This means that to tackle the intersecting crises of climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution and waste — and their impacts — solutions can’t be created in a silo. If we hope to address these complex threats, the general public and policymakers will need more information on how these threats are linked, and what kind of collaborative strategies will address them most effectively.  

To this end, Earth Journalism Network (EJN) is supporting eight media organizations across six different countries in the Asia and Pacific region to lead reporting projects that aim to strengthen awareness of the links between human, animal and environmental health. These finalists were selected from more than 120 applicants, based on their innovative ideas: 

  • Inside PNG, Papua New Guinea: Over the next several months, this start-up digital news organization will produce a short documentary examining the management and disposal of waste generated by mining activities across Papua New Guinea. The investigation comes at a time when the ocean-based waste disposal plans of the Wafi-Golpu copper and gold mining project in Morobe Province are facing scrutiny. 
  • Konde.co, Indonesia: This media outlet will conduct an ecofeminism training and offer fellowships to journalism students and seasoned journalists alike to incorporate a gender lens in their environmental reporting, something that remains a rarity within Indonesia’s current journalism landscape. Afterward, Konde.co will mentor 10 training participants to produce and publish stories that apply their newly acquired gender mainstreaming principles.  
a group of women in Indonesia
Konde.co will help journalists incorporate a gender lens in their reporting / Credit: Ryan Brown for UN Women via Flickr.
  • PumaPublic Productions Corporation, Philippines: This audio production company will produce a podcast series investigating the country’s lack of natural disaster policies that include the protection or evacuation of farm animals and how this policy gap can lead to preventable death and disease among farming communities.  
  • Press Institute of Mongolia, Mongolia: This NGO will create a fellowship program to train 15 environmental reporters in digital journalism techniques and support them to produce stories that examine how air pollution, water scarcity, and desertification are linked to human health. At least half of the participants will be women and a quarter will be from rural areas, and trainings will encompass how to apply a gender lens to environmental reporting. 
  • Center for Data Journalism Nepal (CDJN), Nepal: This non-profit media organization will train mid-career journalists in data and geo-journalism — including the creation of charts and maps and the use of open-source intelligence tools such as Google Earth Pro, QGIS and GeoJSON.io — with a focus on climate change. Six training participants will be selected as fellows who will receive further support to produce stories using data and GIS tools that examine the impacts of climate change on vulnerable and disadvantaged communities in Nepal. 
  • Lyf Solutions, Inc./Philippine Network of Environmental Journalists (PNEJ), Philippines: Lyf, a multimedia company, will collaborate with the Philippine Network of Environmental Journalists to support young journalists and content creators between 15 and 34 years old to produce more robust environmental health reporting, including on platforms that aren’t traditionally used for this sort of journalism, like TikTok. This will be achieved through mentorship and workshops on innovative reporting and fact-checking tools, both in-person and online. 
  • Jakarta Chapter of The Alliance of Independent Journalists (Aliansi Jurnalis Independen Jakarta), Indonesia: This association of independent journalists will equip journalists to navigate scientific data to improve reporting on heavy metal contamination and its impacts on human health. Specifically, they aim to train 25 journalists on the topic and offer financial support to 10 journalists to each produce a relevant story. 
  • Media Literacy Research Center Limited, Hong Kong: The Factcheck Lab at the Media Literary Research Center is an education project that regularly publishes fact-checking reports and delivers training sessions and school seminars on media literacy and misinformation in Hong Kong. Together with the popular online science website Science 99, the Center will organize workshops and story grants for students and early-career journalists to produce better reporting on the health effects of climate change. The planned capacity-building activities will include a special focus on navigating the landscape of health- and environment-related misinformation. 
Ok tedi mine
Since the 1970s, mineral extraction has dominated the national economy of Papua New Guinea / Credit: Ok Tedi Mine CMCA Review.

"This year's media grantees have put forward an exciting and diverse line up of projects, from supporting journalists to investigate heavy metal contamination and the link between animal and human health, to ecofeminism in media and using digital tools to report on climate change,” said EJN’s Senior Asia Program Manager Amy Sim. “I'm really looking forward to seeing these projects take shape in reality!" 

The grants are awarded as part of the latest round of EJN’s Asia-Pacific project, which is funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida). Stay tuned to the EJN website for further updates about our media grantees, who will be gathering in Kathmandu, Nepal, this month for EJN’s Train-the-Trainer workshop before they begin work on their projects.  


Banner image: A smog-filled Ulaanbaatar from the Zaisan Memorial / Credit: Einar Fredriksen via Flickr