UNESCO International Conference on Broadcast Media and Climate Change: A Public Service Remit

The International Conference on Broadcast Media and Climate Change: A Public Service Remit was held at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, France, 4 - 5 September 2009.

This high-level international event is organised by UNESCO in partnership with United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), regional broadcasting unions and other international broadcasting organizations to consider a global consensus to raise public awareness on the challenges of climate change. 

There is a consensus in most spheres that the challenges of climate change are real. The magnitude of impacts of climate change is huge and permeates every aspect of social and economic development. Nevertheless do the majority of people take practical actions to avoid the potential cataclysm? 

Broadcast media has a decisive role to play in providing people with information that would enable and encourage them to take responsibility for their environment and future generations. Therefore, the conference brought together national broadcasters from both developing and developed countries with regional broadcasting unions, key international broadcasting associations, scientific organizations and climate-related agencies for them to examine the major perspectives on climate change today. 

Participants assesse the needs and capacities of broadcasters to disseminate content on this subject, and explored ways of improving access to quality information on the subject, as well as potential modalities for making resources and training programmes available to media professionals. The aim was to increase the quantity of programmes on climate, enhance the quality of these programmes and ensure their permanence in the broadcast media. 

Additionally the conference served as a platform for regional and international collaboration to offer and generate solutions to the most urgent questions and the next steps to take concerning climate change and broadcast media, particularly in the developing countries. Such collaboration empowered national broadcasters to fulfill their role – the public service remit – in making climate change and related mitigation and adaptation options better understood by audiences.

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