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Digital storytelling on climate-resilient agriculture




ICIMOD Headquarters and Western Nepal

Date & Time

03 November 2023 to 10 November 2023

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Digital storytelling on climate-resilient agriculture

Final name list of selected participants

S.N. Name Country
1 Zakir Hossain Chowdhury Bangladesh
2 Sabina Yesmin Bangladesh
3 Md Jahidul Islam Bangladesh
4 Yangyel Lhaden Bhutan
5 Kipchu Bhutan
6 Yiyi Zhang China
7 Ye Yuan China
8 Liu Meiyu China
9 Susan Chaudhary Nepal
10 Enuma Rai Nepal
11 Sarah Sapsanamma Rai Nepal
12 Hemant Raj Joshi Nepal
13 Durga Rana Magar Nepal
14 Ridhi Agrawal Nepal
15 Aziz Ur Rehman Sabawoon Pakistan
16 Jeff Joseph Paul Kadicheeni India
17 Hagen Desa India
18 Sahiba Chawdhary India


Important dates

6 October 2023 Call for applications
17 October 2023 Deadline for submitting applications
20 October 2023 Announcement of selected participants
03– 10 November 2023 Training on digital storytelling on climate-resilient agriculture


About the training

This intensive, in-person multimedia residency focuses on empowering journalists to effectively communicate the critical issues of climate change and resilience building with a focus on climate-resilient agriculture. Journalists will be exposed to the basics of climate science and intricacies of effective storytelling and video story production techniques to prepare them to confidently deliver engaging digital climate change stories. At the end of the training, participants are expected to produce a high-quality digital story centered around climate adaptation and climate-resilient agriculture, which can be published by local, regional, and international media outlets.

The environmental discourse can feel distant from everyday life due to the abstract nature of climate science and fuzzy numbers. Our objective with this training is to bridge this gap. Through this training, journalists will learn how to demystify the complex language of climate science and make it accessible and relatable for the average person. Moreover, this training seeks to humanise the work carried out by the Green Resilient Agricultural Productive Ecosystems (GRAPE) project. By personalising climate change and illustrating its impacts and responses, the journalists will play a vital role in fostering understanding, awareness and preparedness within communities.



The training will capacitate journalists from South Asia  with essential skills in visual climate storytelling to cover different aspects of climate-resilient agriculture including local initiatives, challenges, and solutions in Hindu Kush Himaya (HKH) region. The training will provide strategies for effectively and engagingly communicate the on-the-ground realities of climate change, particularly around agriculture and climate resilience. It will equip participants with the expertise to develop and present scientifically sound stories that are easily accessible and understandable to the general public.


Expected output

Upon completion of the training, participants will:

  • Build an understanding on the topics of climate change, adaptation, resilience, climate-resilient agriculture; and cover various elements of a compelling digital storytelling including how digital narratives can help raise awareness on climate change impacts, particularly on the poor and marginalised
  • Develop awareness of adaptation challenges and linkages between environmental issues, social problems, and the broader economy
  • Produce one video story/illustrated story/ photo story during the training and will be expected to publish at least one story in international, national, or local media. Journalists are expected to have their stories published or broadcast by February 2024. Stories may be printed or broadcast in local languages as well as English.


Target participants

This training is for freelance and staff journalists from photojournalism, video/documentary, and print/web media who regularly cover environmental issues, especially on climate change and its impacts, from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal, and Pakistan.



The training will be held in-person in Kathmandu and the course will focus on four tracks critical to digital storytelling:

Climate journalism and storytelling track
  • Introduction to the of basics of climate science and overview of climate change in the HKH
  • Deep dive into GRAPE activities, the challenges they address and exploring climate resilient agriculture as a topic
  • Understanding climate adaptation, climate resilience and their limitations, and learning to distinguish false solutions and greenwashing from useful, scalable climate solutions
  • Review of effective climate communication strategies that can be incorporated in different types of storytelling products
Video production and editing track
  • Hone technical skills in video production and postproduction including the initial research, scripting and storyboarding process, technical and shooting tips, equipment check, audio capture techniques, interview setups
  • Build film direction and storytelling techniques including types of shooting styles, filming relevant b-roll, narrative styles, creative choices for specific types of outcomes, and integrating science/experts into stories
  • Expert session on filming techniques to achieve high quality cinematic footage with minimal equipment and limited time
Editorial and pitching track
  • Brainstorm direct and indirect impacts of climate change on agriculture and agrarian communities and beyond
  • Introduction to second order and third order impacts beyond the visible first order impacts to find diverse, interesting, and relevant story ideas
  • Scoping of right and diverse expert sources to feature in the stories along with science journalism basics on how to cultivate working relationships with experts, find papers and reports and how to keep track of latest developments for continued learning and climate reporting beyond the workshop
  • International avenues for pitching and publishing climate stories and video reports/documentary shorts and introduction to basics of freelance journalism for international publications
Practical track
  • One-on-one learning whereby participants will apply their learning to complete a short digital project during the training course
  • Develop the technical and editorial skills required to identify, pitch and produce scientifically accurate, human interest digital stories
  • Emerge from the training with increased confidence in generating digital stories reflecting the realities on-the-ground in the research sites, with attention to the local context of culture, traditions, gender issues, and interpersonal and social dynamics of each location



Neelima Vallangi
Journalist and Filmmaker

Neelima Vallangi is an independent writer, photographer and filmmaker from India, currently based in Kathmandu, Nepal. Her stories, film and images have appeared in reputed publications such as The Guardian, Deutsche Welle, BBC,, Al Jazeera English, National Geographic, The Hindu, Indian Express, Mint etc. With a keen interest in nature and mountain ecosystems, she specialises in offering in-depth features and unique stories from the Himalayan region and Indian subcontinent. She enjoys purposefully getting lost in the mountains and going to faraway corners where Google Maps fail.

Neelima Vallangi

Deeply inspired by the many months spent among the lofty peaks of Himalayas over the last decade, the unprecedented changes taking place in the high mountains moved her to start covering the repercussions of climate change in 2019. She has worked extensively in the harsh environments of high-altitude Himalayas over the course of her career as a travel writer and photographer. She builds on that formative experience to report on the emerging challenges of climate change and associated environmental and cultural shifts in these least reported regions. Her current work is focused on climate storytelling and creative communication using various channels such as documentary films and books, science and environmental journalism in major media publications, talks and workshops, newsletter and social media explainers to help improve public understanding of climate change and make climate science accessible to everyone. Her work portfolio on climate change and Himalaya can be seen here.

The Weight of Water’ marks her directorial debut, made in collaboration with British filmmaker Deej Phillips. The feature length documentary film combines climate science with character-driven storytelling to showcase the detrimental impacts of climate change on the water cycle and how it is affecting communities in Nepal. She is the lead author of the book ‘The Heat is On: Climate Change Stories from Koshi Basin‘’, which is a comprehensive but easy-to-read primer simplifying climate science and illustrating various climate issues and impacts through plain language and human interest stories from Koshi basin in Nepal. Her short films on climate change in Uttarakhand were screened at COP27, and she is currently working on her second feature length climate change documentary film set in Ladakh, along with several other climate stories and projects in development.

Learn more about the instructor’s work:

Published work“Climate Matters” Newsletter

LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram


Selection criteria

  • Minimum of 3-4 years of video/photo journalism experience
  • Experience in the reporting environment
  • Decent photography, video shooting, and editing skills
  • Proficient in Adobe Premiere or equivalent editing tools
  • Technical understanding of climate change issues, climate change adaptation, and resilience building preferable
  • Willingness and ability to travel to remote areas, specifically Western Nepal. This includes the capacity to adapt to challenging field conditions, involving walking and other forms of mobility
  • Proactive and highly motivated to develop expertise in climate science and storytelling
  • Journalists with written skills only can apply in partnership with a visual storyteller such as a photographer/videographer/illustrator to produce a multimedia story. Team applications will only be considered if there is merit and potential for a strong story output
  • Women and participants from marginalised communities are strongly encouraged to apply


Submission instructions

  • The application must be submitted no later than the deadline (23:45 NPT, Tuesday, 17 October 2023)  or subsequently announced deadlines if additional reviews are announced.
  • Incomplete applications, or those submitted after the deadline, shall not be considered.
  • The selected participants will be announced on the event page. They will also receive a receipt confirmation of their selection.
  • Journalists applying in partnership with a visual storyteller are expected to submit individual applications


Participation costs

ICIMOD will cover all direct costs related to the workshop, including international airfare, visa processing, local transport, accommodation, and food during the workshop for all selected participants.


Eligible applicants

This is a public notice to ensure that all interested and qualified individuals have a fair opportunity to submit applications for funding. The eligible applicants must be located within ICIMOD’s working areas – Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal, and Pakistan. In addition, applicants should not be affiliated with a political party or engaged in any political activities, and not be focused solely on religious activities.




All participants are required to come to the training with either a digital HD video camera or mobile phone with video capabilities or adequate photography gear or illustration tools. All participants are required to come to the training with a laptop.

  • Video journalists/filmmakers should download and install Adobe Premiere before the training.
  • Photographers should download and install Adobe Lightroom and/or Photoshop before the training.
  • Illustrators should bring their equipment with relevant editing software installed.


Tentative Agenda

Pre-training virtual sessions

Two virtual sessions of 1.5 hours each will be conducted before participants arrive in Kathmandu to achieve the following:

  • Participant, instructor and workshop organising team introductions
  • Introduction to GRAPE, field locations and linkages between climate and agriculture

Participants will receive the reading material and an introduction to the project and field sites so they can start conceptualising potential story ideas and angles that will be developed further during the workshop.

Friday, 3 November 2023 & Saturday, 4 November 2023

  • Introduction to climate change impacts in the HKH region
  • GRAPE project, climate change and agriculture, initiatives, and issues
  • Climate attribution, greenwashing, and maladaptation
  • Video production and post-production techniques
  • Climate photo/video storytelling examples
    1. Story structures and formats
    2. Various forms of visual, digital storytelling
  • Activity: Practice assignment to film footage and record interviews on campus
  • Activity: Brainstorming impacts of climate change on agriculture and agrarian communities and developing story ideas to be pursued on field
  • Activity: Prepare story outline and script after initial research, along with interview questions and shot list
  • Activity: Screening of films for inspiration

Sunday, 5 November 2023

  • Travel to field sites
  • Explore the viability of the story idea on field/alter as required
  • Film interviews and b-roll
  • Prepare and sort highlights
  • Review footage and identify missing/bad shots and prepare for next day’s shoot

Monday, 6 November 2023

  • Continue with outline/scripting
  • Identify gaps/missing pieces in your story/footage
  • Travel to field sites
  • Film interviews and b-roll
  • Prepare and upload daily highlight
  • Watch dailies

Tuesday, 7 November 2023

  • Return to Kathmandu

Wednesday, 8 November 2023

  • Session: Effective climate communication strategies
  • Session: Finding the right and diverse expert sources to feature in the stories
  • Individual consultation with each participant to discuss and finalise their story idea and the climate connection
  • Identify the narrative, storyline, structure, and prepare a script from the interviews
  • Identify the climate change expert quotes or facts required for the story and find an expert & film with them or source the research that will be incorporated into the script
  • Begin editing using the story and script, following any chosen style guideline
  • Work on assembly cut
  • Continue with editing
  • Feedback on assembly cut
  • Continue with editing

Thursday, 9 November 2023

  • Continue with editing as the story, script and style gets refined over multiple discussions and feedback from instructors
  • Work on rough-cut, fine-tuning sound, interview audio, music, pacing, narrative structure along the way
  • Feedback on rough cut and continue with editing
  • Work on fine cut and continue with editing
  • Participants to complete final cut
  • Session: pitching and publishing climate stories and video reports/documentary shorts with national and international publications

Friday, 10 November 2023

  • Welcome and overview of the training
  • Presentations of the stories – all participants
  • Closing ceremony and certificate distribution
  • Reception dinner

Post-training support

  • Participants can avail editorial support from the instructor till 23 December 2023 to help develop, produce, and publish their stories.



Climate-resilient agriculture adopts a holistic approach integrating simple, affordable, and nature-based solutions with innovative technology to address the challenges posed by climate change while ensuring sustainable food production. It encourages sustainable agricultural practices, focusing on resource efficiency, conservation, emission reduction, and biodiversity protection. This approach incorporates innovative techniques such as biological pest control, biological fertilisation, conservation agriculture, drought-resistant crops, climate-resilient cropping system, digital agro advisory services, and advanced weather forecasting systems.

Farmers stand to gain significantly from climate-resilient agriculture. It reduces the risk of crop failure due to extreme weather events or changing growing seasons. By implementing resilient farming practices, yields are optimised, leading to more stable incomes. Consequently, farmers are less vulnerable to financial setbacks resulting from weather-related losses. Additionally, climate-resilient agriculture promotes environmental stewardship, benefiting both farmers and the planet by fostering sustainable agricultural practices.

As part of the Green Resilient Agricultural Productive Ecosystems (GRAPE) project, ICIMOD is taking the lead in implementing GRAPE Field of Action (FA) 2 – action research – in Karnali and Sudurpashchim provinces of Nepal. The focus is on participatory action research and demonstration of proven climate-resilient agriculture solutions to minimise climate and socio-economic risks and vulnerabilities. The project puts great emphasis on gender equality and social inclusion for ensuring green and productive agroecological systems that supports mountain livelihoods and economy.

We are working with universities, research institutions, non-governmental organisations, community-based organisations, and governments at all levels to ensure research-into-use through informed policy and decision making so that local communities benefit from adoption of context specific, gender friendly proven solutions and innovations at scale.

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