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Training workshop

Media reporting on socioecological resilience


Gilgit, Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan

Date & Time

23 September 2021 to 25 September 2021

Organizers: WWF-Pakistan and ICIMOD

Implementing partners: Information Department of Gilgit-Baltistan, Gilgit-Baltistan – Environmental Protection Agency, Journalists Union of Gilgit-Baltistan


About the training workshop

Over the years, there has been an increase in reporting on environment, climate change, wildlife, and sustainability-related issues but only limited training opportunities available to build the capacities of environmental journalists. Covering the environment in geopolitical, social, and scientific contexts require expert knowledge and the ability to effectively frame environmental stories. WWF-Pakistan and ICIMOD are addressing this gap by organizing the second Environmental Journalism Workshop, under ICIMOD’s Hindu Kush Karakoram Pamir Landscape (HKPL) initiative. This a continuation of the workshop conducted for environmental journalists in Gilgit-Baltistan in 2020.

Through this training, journalists will be able to improve their knowledge and capacity to effectively report on various environment-related issues, which is crucial in building socioeconomic and environmental resilience by highlighting issues around ecotourism, agriculture, and land use change, while promoting the concept of ‘green economy’ with sustainable ecosystem health. This workshop will also share environmental sustainability concerns and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the livelihoods of mountain people and ecosystem health.

The workshop is based on the key findings of the research conducted by WWF-Pakistan and ICIMOD on land use change, Tourism Satellite Account (TSA), migration and food security, risk assessment of tourism enterprises. These will enable the journalists from Gilgit-Baltistan to enhance their understanding of key environmental issues and possible solutions, and will also equip them with ways to better report issues in the mainstream media and on social media. The government of Gilgit-Baltistan and the Journalists Association of Gilgit-Baltistan have already requested ICIMOD and WWF-Pakistan to continue supporting the journalists of Gilgit-Baltistan in terms of continuing the workshop.

Learning objectives
  • Deeper understanding of key environmental challenges and issues in Gilgit-Baltistan and HKPL
  • Better understanding of environmental issues and policies in Gilgit Baltistan and the implementation challenges
  • Better understanding of environmental reports produced by ICIMOD, WWF-Pakistan and Gilgit-Baltistan – Environmental Protection Agency (GB – EPA)
  • Better understanding of environmental reporting, social media activism, fake news, and the climate crisis
  • Creation of online networks for smooth flow of information among journalists and experts
Expected outcomes
  • Capacity building of journalists associated with press clubs of Gilgit Baltistan on environmental and policy reporting
  • Better understanding of social media and its effective use to raise environmental awareness
  • Ability to identify fake news on climate change
  • Story idea pitching to international media
  • Creation of a WhatsApp group for greater coordination among journalists and experts of ICIMOD and WWF-Pakistan
  • Participating journalists will produce at least one news piece/broadcast package as an outcome of the workshop
Expected participants

Around 40-45 journalists from 10 press clubs of Gilgit-Baltistan, writers associated with e-newspapers, bloggers, freelance journalists, and reporters from media houses will be attending the media workshop. Students from media studies and relevant disciplines are also encouraged to participate in the workshop.

Since there are few women journalists working in Gilgit-Baltistan, the press clubs of Gilgit-Baltistan were requested to nominate at least one female journalist from their press clubs. The selection of journalists will be made by the Gilgit-Baltistan Union of Journalists and the management of press clubs, keeping in view their contribution to environmental journalism.

Experts from ICIMOD, WWF-Pakistan, Karakoram International University (KIU) and Gilgit-Baltistan – Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will participate in the workshop to acquaint journalists on the current research and to share a regional perspective on the environmental challenges in the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH) and HKPL. From academia, Karakoram International University (KIU) will present their perspective on environmental journalism.


For a broader journalistic perspective, senior environmental journalists and communication experts will be training the participating journalists.  The details of the trainers are provided below:

Syed Muhammad Abubakar, Knowledge Management and Communication Officer, ICIMOD

Alina Shigri, Anchor, 92 News

The workshop will discuss the following research-related issues:

  • Organic potential of Gilgit-Baltistan/sustainable agriculture
  • Tourism Satellite Account and sustainable tourism
  • Land use planning
  • Food and nutrition security in Gilgit-Baltistan
  • Ecosystem services and health
  • Return migration and COVID-19
  • Glacial Lake Outburst Floods (GLOFs)
Programme agenda

Day 1 – 23 September 2021

Time Programme Speakers/Resource persons
9:00-09:30 Registration of participants Organizers
Opening session
9:30-9:35 Recitation of the Holy Quran
9:35-9:40 Welcome note Haider Raza, Regional Head, WWF-Pakistan
9:45-9:55 HKPL Overview Syed Asar ul Hasnain, Project Coordinator, HKPL, WWF-Pakistan
9:55-10:00 Introduction to the objectives, agenda, and outcomes of the workshop Nisar Ahmed, Senior Communication Officer, WWF-Pakistan
10:00-10:05 Remarks Khalid Mustafa, President, Union of Journalists-GB
10:05-10:10 Remarks Farooq Ahmed, Deputy Director, Information Department, Gilgit-Baltistan
10:10-10:15 Remarks Shehzad Shigri, Director, Environmental Protection Agency, Gilgit Baltistan
10:15-10:22 Remarks Raja Azam Khan, Minister for Education, Gilgit Baltistan
10:22-10:28 Remarks Raja Zakriya Maqtoon, Minister Forests, Wildlife, Parks & Environment
10:28-10:35 Remarks Raja Saleem Khan, Minister Works, Government of Gilgit-Baltistan
10:35-10:55 Tea break and group photo
Environmental session
  • Environmental laws in Pakistan and GB
  • Global environmental issues with prime focus on environmental problems in GB
  • Scientific terms in report writing
Shehzad Hassan Shigri, Director, Environmental Protection Agency, Gilgit-Baltistan
11:15-11:35 Digital marketing and communication strategies Amjad Ali, Digital Media Expert, Uconnect
11:35-11:50 Question and answer session
Technical Session I
  • Digital video content, parallel media with linkages to environmental journalism
  • Mass media opportunities and challenges with gender perspective
Alina Shigri, Anchor, 92 News (Trainer)
  • Environmental reporting challenges in Gilgit Baltistan (research)
  • Writing standfirsts
  • Pitching story ideas to international editors
  • Conducting exclusive interviews
  • Fake news on climate change
Syed Muhammad Abubakar, Knowledge Management and Communication, ICIMOD (Trainer)
13:30–14:30 Lunch and prayer break
  • Fake news on social media
  • Social media activism
  • Why reporting on HKPL and GB is important?
Syed Muhammad Abubakar, Knowledge Management and Communication, ICIMOD (Trainer)
15:30-15:45 Q&A session
15:45-16:45 Group formation under given themes on migration and food security, land use change, environmental pollution, Glacial Lake Outburst Floods (GLOFs), and Tourism Satellite Account (TSA)

  • Brainstorming for ideas
  • Research methodologies and approaches to video projects
  • Participants will develop scripts for their projects
Facilitated by:

Haider Raza, Regional Head, WWF-Pakistan

Syed Muhammad Abubakar, Knowledge Management and Communication, ICIMOD (Trainer)

Alina Shigri, Anchor, 92 News (Trainer)

Khadim Hussain, Deputy Director, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Gilgit Baltistan

Khadim Abbas, Conservator, Forests Forest, Wildlife, Parks and Environment Department

16:45-17:15 Group presentation by participating journalists
17:15-17:30 Conclusion of Day 1 and formation of teams for field visit
17:30-17:50 Evening tea and wrap up

Day 2 – 24 September 2021

Field visit
Time Programme Speaker/Resource person
8:00-8:30  Attendance Organizers
8:30-9:00  Recap of Day 1 and briefing on the field visit

Three field teams will be leaving to cover:

Shishper glacier surge and land use change in Hunza

Land use change in Hopper valley and organic potential, migration and food security

Unsustainable tourism activities at Attabad lake and bird tourism at Borith lake, Hunza

Nisar Ahmed, Senior Communication Officer, WWF-Pakistan
9:15-16:00 Groups depart for field visit. The teams will visit different communities, intervention sites of WWF-Pakistan, and collect and document stories as guided by the facilitators.
Lunch will be served in the filed
17:00 Return to hotels WWF-Pakistan

Day 3 – 25 September 2021

Time Programme Speaker/Resource person
9:00-9:30 Registration WWF-Pakistan
9:30-10:00 Recap of Day 2 experience sharing Nisar Ahmed, WWF-Pakistan
  • Concept of environmental journalism and its implications in Pakistan
  • Research and data analysis in media
  • Concepts and visualisation of stories for digital and mainstream media
Ahmer Sohail, Karakoram International University (KIU) 
10:25–10:45 Tea Break
10:45–13:00 Group presentations by participating journalists on potential stories and story ideas. It can include audio video reports, pictures, vlogs, and short written stories as well. Group facilitators
13:00-14:00 Lunch break
Session 2
14:00-14:45 Overview of the presentations and feedback on group presentation by trainers Syed Muhammad Abubakar and Alina Shigri
14:45-15:00 Documentary screening of “A future of healthy and sustainable foods in Gilgit Baltistan” Documentary launch by Fatah Ullah Khan, Minister for Information/Planning & Development, Gilgit Baltistan

Mesum Kazim, Minister for Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries

15:00-15:30 Certificate distribution Fatah Ullah Khan, Minister for Information/Planning & Development, Gilgit Baltistan
15:30-15:40 Overall summary, conclusion, recommendations Khalid Mustafa, President, Gilgit-Baltistan Journalists Union
15:40-16:00 Trainers’ feedback and suggestions Syed Muhammad Abubakar and Alina Shigri
16:00-16:10 Video message Izabella Koziell, Deputy Director General ICIMOD
16:10-16:20 Closing remarks by Chief Guest Fatah Ullah Khan, Minister for Information/Planning & Development, Gilgit Baltistan
16:20-16:30 Vote of thanks Haider Raza, Regional Head, WWF-Pakistan
16:30-17:00 Tea and dispersion