06.11.2012 - UNESCO Office in Tehran

IPDC’s workshop on media and climate change kicks-off in Tehran

One of the workshop’s instructors, Prof Yousef Sobouti, in his presentation (©UNESCO/Arya Gunawan Usis)

The reality and challenges that the world faces with regards to the negative impacts of climate change have been increasing and harsh. But that does not mean that there is no remedy for this situation. In principle, we have to combat the impacts with a sustainable approach that changes the way countries develop. And the media should contribute through their important role in ensuring better informed citizens with their reportings.

That is one of the highlights of remarks by Mme. Tarja Virtanen, Director and Representative of UNESCO Tehran Cluster Office at the opening session of a two-day workshop dedicated for media professionals, held in Tehran, 5-6 November 2012. The workshop, attended by 18 participants, is organized by UNESCO Tehran Cluster Office and Iranian Research Association for Studies on Information Society (IRASIS), with the funds from the International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC). The Tehran workshop also marks the kick-off of the same workshops which will be held in two other major cities in Iran, namely Mashad and Shiraz. 

Mme. Virtanen reiterated the importance of the media in assisting the efforts to tackle climate change-related issues and other sustainable development issues. “We, the media people and media organizations, have the power to change course, from the very basic thing such as educating ordinary people on how to behave responsibly toward our environment, to the more sophisticated means by ensuring that there is the political will from our leaders at every level. We, the media people and media organizations, should play our crucial role in creating a well informed public, through our everyday’s news reporting as well as in-depth analysis and investigations,” said Mme. Virtanen.

The workshops are planned with the main objectives to strengthen the professional capacity of journalists to produce greater quality and volume of reporting on climate change, to raise levels of public awareness and debate, as well as to create more opportunities for journalists to build networks.  In addition to these, the workshops are also designed to include human interest aspects to news items and analysis produced by journalists, so that the reportings would be attractive to public and create more awareness which would enable them to face and address the challenges.

Dr. Mohsenian who represented IRASIS during the opening session expressed his appreciation to UNESCO’s efforts to organize the workshop, as the need to have such a workshop has actually been long overdue.

The first day of the workshop invited two instructors, Professor Yousef Sobouti from Iran Academy of Sciences who has been actively involved in promoting the need to address challenges brought about by climate change, and Dr. Ebrahim Abadi from IRASIS. 

In his presentation, Prof Sobouti made comprehensive explanation on various important aspects of climate change, from its early history to some practical steps that should be done by the media, including producing educative reportings on how to deal with garbage management. He also believes that media could change people’s mindset to behave more responsible in their everyday life to contribute in reducing climate change’s impacts.

Dr. Ebrahim Ebadi touched upon the importance of human factor as the agent of change which will in turn strengthen people’s understanding on climate change. He suggested, therefore, that the media should also put individual, not only government, as the target in sensitizing the climate change issues.

This workshop is supported by the IPDC’s funds. The IPDC is the only multilateral forum in the UN system designed to mobilize the international community to discuss and promote media development in more than 140 developing countries. The Programme not only provides support for media projects but also seeks an accord to secure a healthy environment for the growth of free and pluralistic media in developing countries.

For more information on IPDC, please visit this link: http://www.unesco.org/new/en/communication-and-information/intergovernmental-programmes/ipdc/homepage/

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