HICAP Regional Journalists Workshop Explores Effective Ways of Communicating Climate Change Research


UNEP GRID-Arendal and ICIMOD organized a six-day workshop for 20 journalists from China, India, Nepal and Pakistan – the four countries in which research for the Himalayan Climate Change Adaptation Programme (HICAP) is being carried out. These independent journalists from print, web, radio and television were briefed on ongoing research within HICAP, including climate change scenarios, water availability and demand scenarios, ecosystem services, food security, community adaptation and gender-based issues in -based issues in approaches to adaptation. A team of international mentors and resource persons from UNEP GRID-Arendal and ICIMOD also discussed the need to find effective ways of communicating research issues, studies, and outcomes, which can be difficult as target groups range from civil society and grassroots communities, to policy makers, the general public and business leaders. The Nepal Forum of Environmental Journalists (NEFEJ) was the media partner for the workshop. 

As part of the workshop, held at ICIMOD Headquarters in Kathmandu 4–9 February, the participants discussed the importance placed on climate changes stories in news publications with editors from leading news outlets in Nepal during an editor’s roundtable. Participants also visited the NEFEJ facilities prior to embarking on a two-day field visit to Kavre District to gain hands-on opportunities to develop relevant stories. Divided into smaller groups, the journalists visited various Village Development Committees and households in Kavre District where they interacted with local resource persons and key informants, as well as academics and research fellows from Kathmandu University, to better understand and communicate climate change issues from the perspective of both communities and experts. At the end of the workshop, each journalist showcased a story in their preferred medium documenting community perceptions of the impact of climate and other changes, particularly on agriculture. The stories ranged from changing livelihood patterns, reduced access to water, and changing farming patterns to evidence of the changing roles of women in households to cope with change.   

The stories generated during the journalists’ workshop help portray the ground realities in HICAP research sites, with particular attention to the local context of culture, traditions, communication strategies, gender issues, and interpersonal and social dynamics of each location. Stories generated from this exercise will be made available on the ICIMOD website.