Publicize effects of climate change -CIFOR

THE effects of climate change should  be told to the Zambians and especially in countries responsible for most greenhouse gas emissions, says Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) communications coordinator for Africa Joan Baxter.

Ms Baxter said Zambia, like Africa, has its own stories to tell on climate change to the international media and audiences.

She said Zambia was developing its own strategy to tackle climate change and reduce emissions caused by deforestation, and forest degradation and the human dimension of that was rich fodder for media coverage.

She told a workshop for editors “Promoting Environmental Reporting in Zambia” in Nyimba, Eastern Province, that there was therefore need to tailor local environmental stories for global media.

She was speaking on “How to make environmental stories from Zambia relevant for international media and audiences.”

She was aware that the international, especially Western media, had tended to be unkind to Africa by often carrying old biased headlines that focused on disease, disaster, the dismal diminishing Africa and her people.

She told the workshop that while tailoring local environment stories for global media they should be mindful that the audience may include people that have no idea where and what Zambia was, especially many in North America.

The picture to paint about Zambia should include details such as its vegetative, geographical, economic, cultural and political-social features.

She said success stories about policies or local action that worked well to sustainably manage forest resources for local human benefit would readily appeal most. Often international anglewas important, especially when the issue was climate change, new technologies, research findings and other initiatives.

“The world is rapidly changing as is Africa which is attracting immense interest and respect worldwide. Technology makes it easy to capitalize on the interest, to share knowledge to ensure local rights and interests are known and respected,

“With all of the above come opportunities for Zambia to tell its stories and share its science on environmental and climate change with the world,” she said.