General News

27 February 2011

Media outreach to strengthen environment reporting in the Pacific continues this week with national training for media and information workers in Vanuatu.

Understanding the role of the media to help raise awareness and encourage good environmental behaviour, the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) with support from UNESCO is working with Vanuatu media this week to help strengthen their skills in environment reporting.

Climate change and biodiversity will be at the centre of the training which will aim to compile an e-newsletter of environment news from the participants.

It is also planned that a Vanuatu Environment Media Award for all local media will be launched at the end of the training to encourage environment reporting using the knowledge and skills gained.

"Our media in the Pacific play an extremely important role in raising public awareness on environmental issues," said SPREP's Media and Public Relations Officer, Ms. Nanette Woonton.

"We are pleased to be able to assist this process in Vanuatu by building the capacity of their media. It's with partners such as UNESCO, the Vois Blong Yumi Iniatitive, Vanuatu Media Association and the Vanuatu Broadcasting and Television Corporation that we are able to make this possible and we look forward to the results coming in from this training."

The training will bring together environment experts and local media, explore possible story ideas and help to grow a list of contacts and sources of research – all of which is hoped will help strengthen environment reporting in Vanuatu.

Due to the high interest in the training from Vanuatu it is also planned that visits will be made with media organisations that request it as well as to assist with environment reporting over a period of several days. The office visits will help ensure as many media workers in Vanuatu as possible are given the opportunity to strengthen their skills. To ensure development is continuous, plans are also being discussed for further follow up training to take place again towards the end of the year.

The training is held in Port Villa on Monday, 28 February and Tuesday 1 March, followed by two days of office visits and assistance with story assignments to go towards an e-newsletter compilation of stories from the training. The final day of training is Friday 4 March for evaluation, certificate presentation and the launch of the Vanuatu Environment Media Award.

Notes: This training is made possible with the support from UNESCO and cooperation from The Vois Blong Yumi Initiative, Vanuatu Media Association, Vanuatu Broadcasting and Television Corporation and the Vanuatu Environment Unit.