Reporting the science of climate change

Pretoria, South Africa, 4-5 June 2012

Researchers working with farmers in South Africa to improve their resilience against impacts of climate change. © CSIR

The climate change science workshop was supported by UNESCO in the framework of the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development programme. The event contributed towards the implementation of the current United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) for South Africa.

The meeting came at an appropriate moment, as South Africa has been selected as one of four pilot countries to undertake UNESCO’s national Climate Change Education for Sustainable Development (CCESD) programme, which aims to support Member States in Africa and Small Island Developing States to strengthen their educational responses to mitigate and adapt to climate change.

Follow-up activities will be implemented by the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI), and will benefit South Africa through capacity-building in the areas of education policy and planning; curriculum development; teacher-training; reforming and greening technical, vocational, education and training programmes; and developing education plans and programmes for disaster preparedness.

Senior environmental reporters and science writers from Channel Africa, SABC and the printed media represented the media world.

Supported by the South African National Editors’ Forum (SANEF) and science institutions including South Africa's CSIR and the National Science and Technology Forum, the workshop formed part of a greater initiative where relevant science institutions, scientists and the media interact to create stronger links and mutual understanding between the world of science and the world of communication. An integral part of the initiative is the establishment of a postgraduate programme for journalists and scientists in science, health and environmental communication, developed in conjunction with UNESCO, journalism educators and scientists.

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