Eunice Hilda Ampomah, GNA
Accra, Sept. 11, GNA – The Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) and the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) have organised a workshop to build the capacity of journalists in reporting on climate change issues, its effects and ways to control it.
The workshop provided a platform to discuss topics such as climate change, direct and indirect impacts of climate change, causes of climate change, and how to control climate change and its effects.
Mr Roland Affail Monney, the President of the Ghana Journalists Association, said the world was in danger with regard to climate change if an action was not taken with urgency to control the situation.
The media space was too enthused with politics, he said, and urged media institutions to allocate more time to discuss issues that pose a serious threat to the nation like sanitation, climate change, good roads, schools, and fishing.
He also urged journalists to do more of solution-based reportage and influence policy makers to implement policies and take steps that would cause a positive change.
Mr Bright Blewu, a member of the National Media Commission, who chaired the workshop, said journalists have a crucial role to play in reducing the causes and effects of climate change.
However, he said, their work could achieve the maximum effect if they helped national leaders to recognize climate change as a problem.
He said journalists needed to bring issues of climate change and the environment at large at the forefront of their reportage.
“Climate change knows nobody and if something bad is done here, it affects other countries. We need to protect our environment and ensure that things that destroy our environment are curtailed,” he said.
Mr Pa Louis Thomasi, the Director of IFJ Africa Office, Dakar, said research has shown that there are deficits in terms of climate change reportage in Africa.
Meanwhile, he said, Africa was the hardest hit or affected continent of the effects of climate change.
He said another reason that called on journalists to focus on climate change and sanitation was that many parts of Africa relied heavily on agriculture for survival, meanwhile, climate change had a consequence on the growth of agriculture.
“We, journalists, must allow ourselves to be used as a tool to educate the public on the subject matter. We need to create awareness on climate change that is geared towards attitudinal change” he said.
Mr Martin Segtub, a Lecturer and Climate Change Communication Researcher, speaking on the topic: “The Reality of Climate Change: From Global to Local,” said the evidence of climate change is seen in the rising global temperature, warming of the oceans, and shrinking key sheets.
Others were the decreased snow cover, rise of sea level, and extreme events like heat waves, extreme rainfall, floods, wildfires and drought.
He said human activities such as building, industrial operations, transportation, electronic and heat production, and agriculture contributed to greenhouse gas emissions which affected climate change.
All these, he said, would to be controlled only if the world especially Africa, which was greatly affected by climate change made positive efforts to curb the menace of climate change.