The Earth Journalism Network is a global community, and we aspire to support journalists to cover the environment whenever and wherever we can. We have several projects that focus on global issues, such as climate change, biodiversity, and the oceans, as well as projects that are centered on specific regions facing severe threats to their environment.
Through this program, EJN has sent reporting Fellows, mostly from the developing world, to the UN Climate Summits (COPs) almost every year since 2007. We typically do so in partnership with other organizations: the CCMP was founded in collaboration with Panos and the International Institute for Environment and Development. More recently, we’ve partnered with the Stanley Foundation.
Up to one million plant and animal species are now threatened with extinction, according to the latest UN report from a panel of biodiversity experts. The loss of these species will certainly have knock-on effects for humanity, particularly for people who live closest to nature. This initiative is aimed at exposing the threats and impacts by strengthening reporting on biodiversity and conservation. Our coverage to date comes from dozens of countries, including Argentina, Bolivia, Georgia, Kenya, Papua New Guinea, and many others.
The health of the world’s oceans and related issues, such as the sustainable management of fisheries and coral reefs, are a global challenge. But in keeping with our support for local media, many of our projects have focused on specific countries or geographies, among them: Indonesia, China, Southeast Asia, Latin America, and West Africa. Find out more about these projects here. Several of our projects also range in duration, from a few months to a few years.
A four-year project that kicked off in late 2017 with a focus on boosting media coverage of environmental and natural resources issues in Asia and the Pacific, ensuring greater access to such news by at-risk communities and amplifying the voices of women, indigenous groups and other marginalized groups. In addition to our regular activities, such as workshops and story funding, we work closely with local media, universities, journalist networks and research organizations to build capacity in socio-environmental reporting.
With a goal of boosting climate justice and resilience around the Bay of Bengal, this project deepens EJN’s commitment to the region by strengthening existing ties and forging new partnerships with journalists and media outlets in eastern India and Bangladesh. In addition to holding journalism training workshops on resilience topics and providing yearly grants to individual reporters and media-focused organizations, EJN has carried out a media landscape assessment and held focus groups with local communities to identify information needs and gaps.
This project aids journalists in monitoring and investigating illegal wildlife trafficking, a trade estimated at more than US$20 billion annually. Through investigations led by cross-border teams of journalists, we aim to expose these smuggling networks, identify gaps in law enforcement and highlight the impact this type of criminal activity has on society. Our partner in this effort is Oxpeckers Investigative Environmental Journalism, a South African-based organization that recently launched #WildEye, a digital GeoJournalism tool that maps and tracks data on Europe’s role in wildlife trafficking.
One of the longest barrier reefs in the world, the Mesoamerican Reef is a haven for biodiversity, home to hundreds of fish species, turtles, sharks and myriad types of coral. It also supports the economies of many coastal communities in these four countries. But it’s increasingly under threat from pollution, overfishing, unregulated development and tourism, coral bleaching due to rising ocean temperatures and now a new disease that is attacking coral tissue. EJN has launched this project to increase and improve news coverage on the environmental health of a reef system that stretches across the coasts of Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, and Honduras.
Since 2013, EJN has been partnering with the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism to support their education in environmental reporting. The collaboration centers around an annual class on Earth Journalism taught by EJN Executive Director James Fahn and co-lecturer March Schapiro. As of 2019, we’ve trained around 100 graduate students, most of them from the US, but also from China, India, Mexico, Argentina, Mexico, Kenya, and Canada. The students each receive a travel grant to carry out an original reporting project, usually abroad, during spring break. A sampling of these stories, many of which end up being published or broadcast by commercial media outlets, can be found here.