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Harnessing environmental journalism's full potential at Global Media Congress 2023 Abu Dhabi

Harnessing environmental journalism's full potential at Global Media Congress 2023 Abu Dhabi
14 Nov 2023 23:37

Mohammad Ghazal - Today, I had the privilege to participate in a session of the Global Media Congress (GMC) 2023 in Abu Dhabi, focusing on environmental journalism, the timing of which couldn't be more pertinent, occurring just weeks ahead of the much-awaited COP28 summit.

This session underscored the critical importance of environmental journalism in today's world, a field that is rapidly evolving and gaining prominence as global environmental challenges intensify. The UAE, the host of this year's congress, has emerged as a significant player in supporting and advancing the media, particularly in the realm of environmental journalism.

The country's forward-looking approach, characterised by its adoption of state-of-the-art technologies and solutions, is highly commendable as it provides fertile ground for media to highlight solutions, innovations and initiatives in the field of climate change adaptation and mitigation.

This is particularly evident in the UAE's efforts to foster environmental journalism, a domain that is crucial in informing and educating the public about the pressing issues of climate change and sustainability. Setting precedence, the UAE's pioneering media house Aletihad took on the commitment of prioritising climate and environmental reporting at the heart of its editorial offering.

At Aletihad, environmental journalism is not just a separate beat but a key ingredient interwoven into all facets of storytelling, including business reporting, mental health, and ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) policies. This integrative approach is essential for a holistic understanding of environmental issues and their widespread impact. Aletihad has been instrumental in bringing environmental issues to the fore, ensuring that climate reporting is not just a niche but a central element of their news coverage.

Environmental journalism is more than just a beat; it's an indispensable lens through which all stories should be viewed.

Whether it's business reporting, mental health, or ESG policies, the environmental angle is increasingly relevant, and Aletihad exemplifies this approach. The UAE's efforts in environmental journalism go beyond mere reporting. The nation adopts a proactive and broad-minded approach, and leverages state-of-the-art technologies and solutions. This approach provides good soil for solutions-oriented environmental journalism.

The UAE has been a key advocate for environmental awareness and protection, playing a vital role on the global stage. A testament to the UAE's commitment is the Climate Media Majlis (CMM), launched as part of the UAE's Year of Sustainability launched in Abu Dhabi.

This initiative, rooted in the traditional Majlis concept of open dialogue, brings together climate influencers, policymakers, journalists, and thought leaders to address climate change. The peculiar enterprise reflects the UAE's recognition of the media's vital role in raising awareness of climate change and fostering informed communities.

Moreover, the UAE has made significant strides to integrate environmental education and awareness into its societal framework. The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment's partnership with TRENDS Research and Advisory is a testament to the nation's belief in the power of data and research in advancing environmental sustainability.

This collaboration aims to enhance research capabilities and establish a knowledge-based society equipped to address environmental challenges.

Another key highlight in this regard is the initiative launched by the UAE's Ministry of Education and the UN Children's Fund to advance climate education and action among children. The initiative seeks to equip youth with the tools to both adapt to and address the ramifications of climate change while promoting sustainable development.

The Ministry of Education has also announced a Green Education Partnership with UNESCO and UNICEF that will offer schools across the UAE a national framework to support climate education and action among young people. Another highlight that can't go without mentioning is the Sustainable Schools Initiative (SSI).

As part of Year of Sustainability initiatives, Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD) announced, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Emirates Schools Establishment, and the Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge, that all schools in the Emirates have now pledged to join EAD's Sustainable Schools Initiative (SSI), globally recognised by the United Nations Environment Programme.

This pioneering initiative aims to nurture a culture of environmentally friendly practices across all schools in the UAE and bring about a progressive, sustainable-conscious generation. For the UAE, climate action supersedes other priorities. Taking inspiration from the forward-thinking approach of the country's leadership, we at Aletihad can affirm that sustainability is a way of life.

The writer is the Managing Editor of Aletihad English newspaper

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