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17 Sep 2015 | News

Environmental media training for NEPA officials and media representatives

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ICIMOD and the National Environmental Protection Agency (NEPA) of Afghanistan organised a week-long Communication and Media Training on Environment from 24 to 28 August 2015 at ICIMOD’s headquarters in Kathmandu. The training was attended by six Afghani journalists who cover issues relating to the environment. The program was part of ICIMOD’s Knowledge Management capacity building activities that target partner institutions in regional member countries and surrounding local communities.

The program’s aim was to provide an overall understanding of regional and global environmental issues related to climate change, livelihood, gender, disaster preparedness, and environmental reporting. Over the week, the journalists became familiar with mountain issues through demonstrations and field visits to local communities. The hands-on training provided the journalists opportunities to see how communities could become climate smart.

While at ICIMOD, staff shared their expertise on environmental reporting, media and climate change, engaging with media, social media, photo composition, story development, and news writing.

The journalists enjoyed field visits to ICIMOD Knowledge Park at Godavari and Kavre. The Knowledge Park visit on 25 August provided the attendees a chance to see innovative technologies that are now providing solutions to challenges faced by mountain farmers. Of special interest was the community-based flood early warning system demonstration, a low-cost technology that helps people at the time of floods. On 26 August, the group headed to Kavre to learn how two ICIMOD project sites were organised. At Dapcha, Daraune Pokhari the journalists saw the spring and ponds project site where a representative from ICIMOD’s partner organisation, Nepal Water Conservation Foundation (NWCF), explained the relationship between rainfall, groundwater recharge and spring water availability and their impact on rural livelihoods. Afterward, the journalists spent time with the villagers asking questions.

The next stop was the Climate Smart Villages developed by ICIMOD and its partner Centre for Environment and Agriculture Policy Research Extension and Development (CEAPRED). There, the journalists learned about the  production and use of bio fertiliser, bio pesticides, wastewater and rainwater collection, mixed cropping, nitrogen fixation by intercropping, SMS notification systems, and biogas plant installation.

The attendees also had the chance to visit the Nepal Forum of Environmental Journalists (NEFEJ) on 27 August. NEFEJ is a non-governmental organisation working to raise public awareness on the environment, sustainable development, and other social issues.  NEFEJ’s opened their facility to the journalists and included a tour of their video and audio production facilities, the news room, audio and visual libraries and included a talk with NEFEJ General  Secretary,  Nimes Regmi.

On the last day of the training, the participants shared their experiences, observation, and highlights of the workshop. They were interested in seeing NEPA and ICIMOD continue collaborating in the future and expressed a desire to see the program expand to others in Afghanistan.

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