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Manipur: The power of environmental journalism

By   /  December 3, 2016  /  Comments Off on Manipur: The power of environmental journalism

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Imphal, Dec 3: The governor of Manipur, Dr Najma Heptulla has emphasized on the role of media in spreading awareness about impacts of climate change and the need for adaptation in the northeast region which, he said, was a part of the Indian Himalayan Region and one of the most vulnerable mountain systems of the world.
Dr Heptulla was inaugurating a 3-day media workshop on climate change reporting here as part of a series of media sensitization initiative in the next 3 years in the NE, jointly launched by the Indian Himalayas Climate Adaptation Programme (IHCAP) of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), department of Science and Technology (DST) and the Centre for Media Studies (CMS) at Hotel Imphal by Classic.
Stating that scientists have been working on different aspects of climate change and state governments were preparing plans for adaptation, she said: “Media has a powerful role in generating awareness and motivating communities at the local level.”
Expressing concern over degradation of the Loktak Lake, the largest fresh water lake in NE India, she announced that she would soon be launching a programme to involve children in regeneration of the wetland. Media persons, both in print and electronic, should focus more on the impact of climate change on remote, vulnerable communities, she added. They should also highlight case studies of success at local level which do not find much space or are not adequately covered.
Manipur’s Forest and Environment minister, Irengbam Hemochnadra who attended the inaugural function speaking on the occasion said Manipur was also moving forward to lead the country to meet the challenge of climate change as the state was leading in the field of sports and culture. Manipur was among the few states in the country to have formulated action plan on climate change and to have initiated action to implement the same.
“Through this programme, we are trying to trigger interest in climate change, its impacts on sustainability, livelihood issues and adaptation stories among media in the region and thereby among the masses,” noted the deputy director, Dr Shirish Sinha of SDC. If effective measures were taken in time, experts believed it might be possible to prevent further degradation of the ecosystem.
Stating that CMS Vatavatan film festival has been trying to spread awareness about environment through films, director general, P N Vasanti of CMS said: “The challenge before journalists reporting on climate change is to connect changes occurring at the local level with larger global climate science and policies. We need to build this capacity among interested journalists.”
More than two dozen journalists from almost all the districts of the state excluding Senapati are participating to interact with subject experts, scientists and policymakers. Fellowships will also be awarded to journalists from the region to write field-based stories.

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  • Published: 1 year ago on December 3, 2016
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  • Last Modified: December 3, 2016 @ 7:28 pm
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