UNESCO publishes outcome brochure of its conference on broadcast media and climate change
Last September UNESCO, in partnership with UNEP, organized an International Conference on 'Broadcast Media and Climate Change: A Public Service Remit'. As a result of this event, international and regional broadcasting unions have decided to increase cooperation in order to give media exposure to climate change. UNESCO launches a brochure, A Commitment to Act Now: Broadcast Media and Climate Change, published as an outcome of the Conference.
The Conference brought together more than 250 representatives of national broadcasters from both developing and developed countries, scientific organizations, regional broadcasting associations and unions, and climate-related agencies. They explored current coverage of climate change issues in different regions of the world and the challenges being faced by broadcasters, in particular those from the developing countries.
The UNESCO brochure summarises the seven sessions of the Conference and contains, inter alia, quotations from eminent speakers and the Paris Declaration: A Commitment for an Increased Public Awareness of Climate Change adopted by the participants. This Declaration invites international and regional broadcasting unions, as well as other stakeholders, to increase cooperation, with the support of the UN, and step up their efforts to give media exposure to climate change so as to help mitigate its impact and avert potential human suffering. A number of broadcasting organizations have already started launching follow-up actions.
"I encourage and echo the call for bridges to be built between public service broadcasting, community media and commercial broadcast media. This integration will increase the collective effort to bolster the involvement of those who are most vulnerable to climate change," declared Abdul Waheed Khan, UNESCO's Assistant Director-General for Communication and Information in his address to the Conference.
In their Declaration, the participants stressed that "access to relevant information on climate change is vital to sustain a living planet and for the survival of human beings."
Equally pressing was the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, who sent a message to the participants highlighting the importance of public awareness of the issue: "Broadcasters play a vital role by informing and educating the public about the realities of climate change and the costs of inaction. Armed with information, citizens are better equipped to push for meaningful and responsible follow-through from their elected representatives".
The brochure in available online in English and French: <a href="ev.php?URL_ID=29322&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201">click here</a>.