‘Journalists have vital role in climate change mitigation efforts’
The Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE) on Tuesday announced a “Climate Change Award” to be given to media persons in different categories for producing quality content on various aspects of climate change.
“The CPNE is determined to increase awareness of reporters, subeditors and other media persons regarding climate change finance in Pakistan,” said Amir Mahmood, vice president of the CPNE, Sindh Chapter, while speaking at the focus group discussion on ‘Strengthening Governance of Climate Change Finance’ at the CPNE Secretariat.
The event was attended by senior editors, environmental experts and reporters.
It is the third focus group discussion after Lahore and Islamabad on Governance of Climate Change Finance, which is being supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and it is aimed at enhancing awareness of the media persons, especially reporters, on climate change in Pakistan.
Dr Jabbar Khattak, chairman of the CPNE Projects and Programmes Committee, claimed that according to the UNDP, the government of Pakistan was spending six to eight percent of the GDP on climate change mitigation, which was far higher than spending on health and education, but most of the Pakistanis, including journalists, were not aware of it.
“For many people, including us, it was a surprise that the government of Pakistan claims to spend six to eight percent of the GDP on climate change mitigation,” he said and asked the reporters and journalists to dig out facts about this spending, saying despite going through the budget books, they had not founded that much spending on the climate change mitigation.
Dr Khattak said the concept of climate change and environmental pollution was not clear in the minds of many journalists and often, writers and journalists, mixed up the two issues, which were related to each other but were also different in many aspects.
He said the focus group discussion was aimed at bringing journalists and editors at one platform and increase their knowledge and information about climate change.
He hoped that with the enhanced awareness, they would be in a better position to appraise masses about the phenomenon of climate change.
CPNE office-bearer Amir Mahmood welcomed media representatives, reporters, writers and columnist for being part of the focus group discussion and said that both the editors and media persons were learning new things about climate change, which would ultimately benefit both of them.
He, on the occasion, announced that the CPNE would issue a “Climate Change Award” in different categories so that they could enthusiastically create content for both the print and electronic media on climate change and use their skills to enhance awareness of the masses on this issue.
The moderator of the discussion, Abdul Rahim Moosvi, following the discussion with editors and journalists, said a guide book on climate change finance would be prepared for the working journalists, while awards would be given to journalists for writing stories, columns and producing electronic media content on the subject.
Several other editors, including Daily Express editor Tahir Najmi, Zahida Abbassi, Naseer Hashmi, Maqsood Yousufi, also attended the focus group discussion. Known environmentalists Muhammad Anis Danish and Rafiul Haq also attended the discussion as consultants.