WFP drills editors on climate change

TEBOHO KHATEBE MOLEFI

MOHALE’S HOEK – News editors from across the breadth of both print and electronic media this week begin a two-day intensive training by the World Food Programme (WFP) to create a platform to share ideas, knowledge, and experiences on improvement of climate change issues mainstreaming in media programmes.

The training is also planned to inspire editors to prioritise the subject of climate change in their news agenda, gather views and opinions of news editors as gatekeepers in news production.

It also explores how best the media sector should be reformed to be a reliable source of climate change and an icon for social change.

The training is under the WFP-supported project ‘Improving adaptive capacity of vulnerable and food-insecure populations in Lesotho (IACOV)’ between today and tomorrow. 

Officially opening the training, energy minister, Mohapinyane Mohapinyane, noted the key role that editors play in information dissemination, appealing to them to promote positive behaviour changes carried in their news articles, in both radio and television programmes.

Mohapinyane also spoke about the important role journalists should play in giving out climate change-related warnings and complex topics, while playing the role of watchdogs.

“Journalists are expected to also struggle for positive reportage and help address challenges faced in relation to climate change,” he noted, adding that Lesotho is not immune to climate change impact “as evidenced by recent events which attest to this reality.”

In her virtual keynote address WFP Country Director, Aurore Rusiga, reaffirmed close collaboration with the government and the media towards realisation of global Sustainable Development Goals.

She reiterated the reality that Lesotho is not immune to climate change, citing recent episodes of drought and torrential rains that she said affected agriculture negatively.

“IACOV aims to address some of these challenges, and project objectives aligned with WFP programmes and this is done in collaboration with the Lesotho Meteorological Services (LMS) and the Ministry of Forestry. It provides oversight processes, monitoring and evaluation,” she continued.

She appealed to media to be responsible partners in sharing information related by providing a platform for climate change dialogue. 

“This is very important in order that we preserve our county and other nature reserves, the media must help Basotho understand and adapt to climate change,” she added.

IACOV is a four-year project executed by the LMS and the Ministry of Forestry, while the WFP is the implementing entity. 

The project is meant to address the barriers of climate change adaptation by strengthening capacity of the government on early warning while ensuring optimal knowledge and utilisation of climate information tailored to company needs. 

Communities will be empowered to plan and implement appropriate resilience building that will transform lives and diversify livelihoods. 

Present at the official opening of the training was the Mohale’s Hoek District Administrator Bahlakoana Tšolo, and project coordinators.

Participants have been drawn from both government and private print and electronic media houses.

 

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