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Ten Journalists Awarded Fellowships to Attend and Report on COP15 in Montreal, Canada

black-footed ferret

Internews’ Earth Journalism Network (EJN), is pleased to announce that 10 journalists been awarded fellowships to cover the fifteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15) through the Biodiversity Media Initiative.  

The fellows will attend and report on COP15 in Montreal, Canada from December 7–19, 2022. Organized under the Presidency of the People’s Republic of China, the CBD will be hosting the conference after a two-year postponement due to the Covid-19 pandemic.  

COP15 will conclude the negotiations for an ambitious post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework to ensure biodiversity loss is halted and reversed by 2030, with a vision of living in harmony with nature by 2050. The Framework is expected to set the necessary global targets to curb the accelerating biodiversity crisis, and expectations are high that the summit will deliver a “Paris Agreement for nature”. 

“Given that COP15 has been described as having the potential to be a Paris Agreement moment for biodiversity, it is critical that the eyes of the world are on these negotiations in Montreal. We are pleased to be bringing a cohort of 10 excellent journalists from around the world to report from the COP,” said Charlie Debenham, senior programme officer at EJN. 

The open call drew 254 applications from environmental journalists around the world. The 10 selected fellows are:  

  • Diwakar Pyakurel, Online Khabar (Nepal) 
  • Kelesha Williams, Television Jamaica (Jamaica) 
  • Rebecca Marigu, National Broadcasting Corporation (Papua New Guinea) 
  • Shakoor Rather, Press Trust of India (India) 
  • John Muchangi Njiru, The Star Newspaper (Kenya) 
  • Li Wei Soon, Malaysian National News Agency (Malaysia) 
  • Maria Camila Bonilla, El Espectador (Colombia) 
  • Emilio Godoy, InterPress Service (Mexico) 
  • Juan Pablo Mayorga Garcia, Sin Embargo and Reporte Sandía (Mexico) 
  • Julia Evans, Daily Maverick (South Africa)  

The trainers who will support and guide these fellows are: 

  • Mark Schapiro (United States) 
  • Amrita Gupta (United States) 

Fellows will have the opportunity to report from COP15 for their home audiences, with support from EJN trainers. They will participate in orientation activities, daily briefings, and be guided to produce in-depth stories on negotiations and outcomes of the summit.  

The fellowship, supported by Arcadia – a charitable fund of Peter Baldwin and Lisbet Rausing, and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) will strengthen journalists’ capacity to report on biodiversity issues and equip the public and policymakers in their home countries with the information they need to address the drivers of biodiversity loss.  

Look out for the fellows’ stories on the EJN website in the coming weeks.  

Banner image: The black-footed ferret, once thought to be extinct, is one of North America’s most endangered mammals. Captive breeding, reintroductions, habitat protection, and cloning have helped restore them to over 300 animals in the wild / JN Stuart via Flickr.