Accra, 22 May, 2014 – The UNESCO publication, “Climate Change in Africa: A Guidebook for Journalist” has been launched in Accra, under the auspices of the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Ghana. The guidebook, which is prepared by UNESCO in collaboration with the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) and Internews/Earth Journalism Network, aims at providing journalists with information and in-depth knowledge on climate change.
Launching the Guidebook, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy on Climate Change and Former President of Ghana, H.E. John Agyekum Kufuor emphasized the importance of journalists as major stakeholder in propagating the impact of climate change. He cited the Guidebook as an essential instrument to equip journalists to play their role as such effectively.
Mr. Kufuor said, “Within the past three decades, our world has undergone some drastic climatic changes which threaten the existence of humanity” and urged countries, especially, Ghana, to initiate afforestation programmes by planting various trees to help absorb carbon dioxide that is destroying the ozone layer.
In a speech read on his behalf, the President of Ghana, H.E. John Dramani Mahama reiterated government’s commitments to adaptation and mitigation efforts, both at the national and international levels. “Climate change must be seen as a developmental issue and not an environmental problem because it impacts all aspect of social lives”, he noted.
Ms Susan Ngongi, UN Resident Coordinator (a.i), encouraged journalists to use the climate change book as a guide in telling the story of climate change.
Present at the function were the Minister of Education, Professor Jane Naana Opoku Agyemang, who also doubles as the Chairperson of the Ghana National Commission for UNESCO; Ms Moji Okuribido of UNESCO country office and Affail Monney, President of the Ghana Journalists’ Association.
The 91-page guidebook targets journalists, editors, teachers and media trainers and is expected to deepen their understanding of key concepts in Climate Change reporting and to improve coverage on the subject.