Climate change poses an urgent global challenge that demands action at both local and global scales. In Hargeisa and Mogadishu, Somalia, there’s a crucial need for skilled journalists who can proficiently cover climate-related topics and raise awareness within their communities.
Training journalists in climate reporting empowers them to advocate for climate action and influence policies. This comprehensive response involves government bodies, civil society groups, and the public. Equipped with essential knowledge and skills, journalists can drive change, hold policymakers accountable, promote sustainability, and amplify community voices.
To enhance climate change journalism and foster informed reporting in the region, ICPAC conducted two immersive workshops over two weeks in Hargeisa and Mogadishu, Somalia. These workshops introduced 70 journalists from various media outlets in Somalia to the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on climate reporting.
The training covered all MOOC modules along with integration of the East Africa Hazards Watch System. It provided a deep understanding of climate science, sustainable development, and climate policies.
The training began with participants gaining insight into climate change fundamentals, including terms like climate, weather, adaptation, and mitigation. They explored causes, impacts, and future projections, enabling them to report accurately and engage their audiences effectively.
Journalists also delved into localized climate change challenges specific to their communities. This included exploring impacts on agriculture, water resources, and vulnerable populations. By highlighting local stories, journalists can create urgency and inspire action.
The training’s final day focused on communication and awareness strategies. Journalists learned storytelling techniques, visual communication, and data visualization to engage audiences. They also explored using social media and digital tools to spread climate-related information widely.
Supplementary materials on climate reporting and communication further enriched participants’ understanding. Specialized training on using the East Africa Hazards Watch and other ICPAC products was also provided.
The workshops were organized by ICPAC under the Rural Livelihoods’ Adaptation to Climate Change in the Horn of Africa Phase II (RLACC II) project, supported by GEF/AfDB (Global Environment Facility/African Development Bank).
The journalists exhibited enthusiasm for incorporating climate services and climate change issues into their reporting, promising a new generation of climate change journalists equipped to drive awareness, action, and positive change. The workshops also simplified jargon and scientific terms and introduced a shared vocabulary in the local language.
The training encompassed all MOOC modules for climate reporting, coupled with the East Africa Hazards Watch System. This provided participants with comprehensive insights into climate science, sustainable development, and environmental policies.
Understanding Climate Change:
On day one, participants gained a deep understanding of climate change and its fundamental terms such as climate, weather, adaptation, and mitigation. They learned about causes, impacts, and future projections. Equipped with this knowledge, journalists can accurately report on climate issues and engage their audiences effectively.
Localizing Climate Change:
Given the diverse impact of climate change, participants explored specific challenges faced by local communities. They studied localized effects on agriculture, water resources, and vulnerable populations. By highlighting these local stories, journalists can drive urgency and inspire action among their readers or viewers.
Communication and Awareness Creation:
The final day emphasized effective communication strategies and awareness building. Journalists learned compelling storytelling, visual techniques, and data visualization to engage audiences. They also explored social media and digital tools for wide dissemination of climate information. Proficient communication ensures broader reach and inspires action.
In addition to the core curriculum, journalists received supplementary materials on climate reporting and communication, enriching their understanding of this defining global issue.
Participants also gained specialized training in utilizing the East Africa Hazards Watch (EAHW) and other ICPAC products.
The training was organized by ICPAC under the Rural Livelihoods’ Adaptation to Climate Change in the Horn of Africa Phase II (RLACC II) project, supported by GEF/AfDB (Global Environment Facility/African Development Bank).
Both venues demonstrated enthusiasm in incorporating climate services and climate change topics into a significant portion of their daily reporting, indicating the potential to nurture a new generation of climate change journalists capable of driving awareness, action, and positive change in response to this urgent global challenge.
Complex terminology was simplified, and a shared local vocabulary was introduced during the training workshops.