A not-for-profit outfit, EnviroNews Development Network (ENDENET), in collaboration with an international public charity, Global Greengrants Fund, has deepened the knowledge of 12 journalists on climate change and renewable energy reporting.
Director of ENDENET, Michael Simire, said the 12 journalists were chosen from various media for the one-day training which held in Lagos on May 2.
The training, according to Mr Simire, was to draw attention to the need for the use of clean and renewable energy, to mitigate the causes of climate change in the country.
He noted that to achieve this, awareness should be improved to ensure that messages are effectively communicated to policymakers and the people, to take up actions to protect the environment.
“Nigeria is one of the countries in the world experiencing the effects of climate change due to global warming,” he said.
“The high level of the country’s release of CO2 from domestic and industrial use of electricity generating sets and automobile engines is worsening the situation.
“The aim of the training is to increase the knowledge of journalists on climate change and alternative sources of energy, and to increase frequency of reportage of climate change and renewable energy in the Nigerian media.
“We want to explore strategies for improving climate change and renewable energy reporting as well as examine challenges facing environmental issues and hope to explore opportunities for birthing a network of journalists reporting climate change and renewable energy.”
A facilitator, Chike Chikwendu, said that Nigeria was vulnerable to climate change impact due to its dependence on income generated from production and consumption of fossil fuel.
Chikwendu, who is the Executive Director, Centre for Energy and Environmental Sustainability (CEES), urged the Federal Government to respond to climate change issues through creation of appropriate policy, as well as a legal and institutional framework.
He urged further that government should mainstream climate change into development planning and process and ensure adequate financing and funding of climate change initiatives.
On his part, Media and Campaigns Director, Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (FoEN), Philip Jakpor, said that climate change issue was intensified in Nigeria due to gas flaring from extractive activities, current industrial model, and indiscriminate tree felling.
He noted that the issues resulted into flooding, drying of Lake Chad, desert encroachment and rising sea level, among others.
Jakpor therefore, advised journalists to visit environmental flashpoints, put human faces to issues, obtain and simplify data, and to always ask probing questions to enrich their reporting.
Journalist and Head of Training with the Voice of Nigeria (VON), Ugonma Cokey, while training the journalists, charged them to consider journalism as their career and put in much effort to drive change through their reports.
At the end of the training, participants were paired with mentors to guide them on writing stories on climate change and renewable energy.