Sunday, April 22, 2012

Search for best biodiversity and climate change reporting is on

The hot issue of biodiversity and climate change will receive a much-needed public awareness boost when the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity (ACB), the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (German Agency for International Cooperation) or GIZ, and the Philippine Press Institute (PPI) launch the special award on “Best in Biodiversity and Climate Change Reporting” at the 16th National Press Forum on April 24 at Traders Hotel Manila. The launch of the special award will be announced at the press forum by Rolando Inciong, head of ACB’s Communication and Public Affairs.

“The relationship between biodiversity and climate change cannot be translated into a gut issue that the man on the street will understand without the help of media, especially the newspapers. GIZ and ACB recognize media’s significant role as a partner in demystifying biodiversity and promoting the link between biodiversity and climate change and highlighting their importance to humans,” Dr. Berthold Seibert, Project Manager of the ACB-GIZ Biodiversity and Climate Change Project, said.

In recognition of media’s key role in generating a greater awareness of biodiversity, ACB and GIZ will partner with the PPI for the special award, which will be part of the 2012-2013 Civic Journalism Community Press Awards. Hosted by PPI and The Coca-Cola Export Corporation, the awards is an annual event that aims to recognize community papers excelling in the field of civic journalism. There are six existing categories: Best in Business and Economic Reporting, Best in Science and Environmental Reporting, Best in Photojournalism, Best Editorial Page, Best Edited Paper, and Best in Culture and Arts Reporting.

For the past two years, ACB has been supporting the awards by serving as judge in the Best in Science and Environmental Reporting category. For 2012-2013, ACB and GIZ, through the Biodiversity and Climate Change Project, will launch a special awards category: Best in Biodiversity and Climate Change Reporting.

“By opening this special category, ACB, GIZ and PPI will recognize the efforts of community journalists who have taken the initiative to educate more people about biodiversity and climate change,” Mr. Rodrigo U. Fuentes, executive director of ACB, said.

By partnering with PPI on the awards, ACB and GIZ seek to “form a cadre of journalists who will become active partners in promoting the link between biodiversity and climate change through their reportage. Communicating biodiversity and climate change is a daunting task. While successes have been achieved on some fronts, a lot of communication gaps still need to be filled. This award is a step toward bridging those gaps,” Director Fuentes explained.