The degradation of our ecosystem, natural resources, and the environment are among the biggest current challenges. It is estimated that some 200 million people will be directly affected by climate change by 2050, affecting the poorest countries first. Environmental stress, although it is not the only factor, has an important effect on the political, economic, social and security factors that lead to social imbalance, conflict, and population movements. All these factors are interrelated.
The media and journalists - in their mission to serve the public interest - play a central role in responding to this degradation – informing, educating, promoting dialogue and the sharing of initiatives and solidarity networks, exchanging global and local solutions. The media can provide keys to help the population understand, develop capacity to adapt and the resilience of the whole society.
Fondation Hirondelle has developed a multi-level approach to address environmental issues. Our media integrate into their program schedules slots that deal regularly with environmental issues: news bulletins, interactive debates, features, in-depth reports, short spots, and awareness campaigns. National and regional issues are analyzed and put in perspective with testimonies of vulnerable populations, linking the issues and their implications to the daily lives of citizens and helping to make them actors for change.
We then develop specific mechanisms to cover the major global events that shape the direction of tomorrow. By installing radio studios in the Innovation areas during the COP21 (Conference on Climate Change) in Paris and then the COP22 in Marrakech, we chose to be at the heart of the debates with a team of specialized editors and journalists from our media and media partners (Mali, Niger, DR Congo, Central African Republic, Cote d'Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Conakry). Every day, this team followed diplomatic negotiations, produced multimedia reports, and organized debates that brought together many political actors, civil society, large and small companies, thus bringing educational insights to an audience of 20 million listeners through all Fondation Hirondelle’s media (FM and websites), our network of partner radio stations, a dedicated website and associated social networks.
Finally, we are working on the implementation of regional programs with local civil society partners, particularly in Central Africa, combining multimedia productions, training, raising awareness of the challenges of fighting global warming and supporting the shift towards green economies and societies in Africa.
Results / Outcomes
- People understand environmental issues and are motivated to develop adaptation and conservation solutions for the ecosystem on which they depend.
- Political and civil society leaders value environmental protection and play an active role in seeking and implementing responsible solutions.
- A culture of dialogue and solidarity is promoted through the exchange of initiatives and know-how between the different actors, stimulating an awareness of the environmental emergency.