Journalists have a unique ability to accelerate climate action — SCI
By: Our Correspondent
Save the Children International (SCI) has said that journalists have a unique ability to help accelerate climate action through advocacy and education, but their potential to help achieve the global climate goals remains largely untapped.
The Social Protection Specialist in the Kaduna office of SCI, George Akor, asserted this during a one-day media chart on climate change, the media, and the campaign for a clean and healthy environment organized by the Media Working Group of SCI in collaboration with the Nigeria Medical Association, Kaduna State Chapter, supported by Save the Children International.
Mr. Akor said that the lack of public interest and the ever-increasing complexity and geographical scope of climate issues are just some of the challenges that journalists face when trying to report on environmental issues today.
He disclosed that Save the Children has a unique role in empowering children’s voices and encouraging leadership in the climate movement. According to him, SCI aims to support children, especially the most marginalized, who are disproportionately affected by climate change to be part of the solution and influence decisions by world and local leaders.
“Children are leading the way towards a better world, and it’s time for us all to follow their lead. We must listen to their calls for action and find lasting solutions that support and protect children. Save the Children is campaigning for and with children to call for urgent action on the climate crisis as well as inequality to create a safe, healthy, and happy future for children,” he said.
Speaking earlier, Prof. Rabiu Abdulsalam Magaji of the Department of Human Physiology, Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, ABU Zaria said that shrinking budgets, lack of public interest, and the ever-increasing complexity and geographical scope of climate issues are just some of the challenges that journalists face when trying to report on environmental issues today.
The professor, however, said that a lack of in-depth knowledge of climate change can make environmental news boring, scientific, complicated, and full of gloom and doom. He, therefore, called for the urgent training of journalists at the Foral on climate change reportage.
According to him, Nigeria is experiencing adverse climate conditions with negative impacts on the welfare of millions of people. “Persistent droughts and flooding, off-season rains and dry spells have sent growing seasons out of orbit, in a country dependent on rain-fed agriculture. Alarm bells are ringing with lakes drying up and a reduction in river flow in the arid and semi-arid regions. The result is fewer water supplies for use in agriculture, hydro power generation, and for other uses. The main suspect for all this havoc is climate change.”
Human health has always been influenced by climate and weather. Changes in climate and climate variability, particularly changes in weather extremes, affect the environment that provides us with clean air, food, water, shelter, and security. “Climate change, together with other natural and human-made health stressors, threatens human health and well-being in numerous ways. Some of these health impacts are already being experienced in Nigeria and in most parts of the world,” he said.
Participants at the media chart opined that there is no gainsaying that the fact that man depends on his environment for existence and sustenance such that man’s life is shaped by his environment, and this underscores the need for the protection of the environment from all forms of degradation, especially those brought about by the activities of man.