Featured - News - March 31, 2022

Surge Africa fosters journalists-activists collaboration on climate action

Surge Africa, a non-profit promoting climate resilient policies and practices, Wednesday, hosted a capacity-building training for a select group of Nigerian journalists, civic activists, and photographers focused on the intrinsic linkages between journalism and activism.

By Stephen Enoch

The training, which took place in Kano, north-western Nigeria, acted as a platform for the actors to amplify issues around deforestation, biodiversity loss, erratic rainfall, and climate security risks, amongst others.

The session, themed: “Journalism and activism: driving impact through the media” was aimed at creating a level playing field for actors across the 3 varied sectors to identify opportunities for collaborative engagements that would intensify climate action and bring about social change in northern Nigeria.

Nasreen Al-Amin, executive director of Surge Africa, said the session addressed varied issues, namely, lack of evidence-based and holistic climate change reporting in the region so as to drive fact-based reporting focused on communities affected by climate change. She also decried the dearth of funding for climate change reporting and research in Nigeria.

“Reporters focus on a single aspect of climate change, usually flood or erosion, with less attention to air and water pollution, diversity loss, climate security, and climate migration, which are crucial climate change challenges in Nigeria. There is a need for intensified research on climate change and the environment, especially in Nigeria and particularly in the northern part of the country,” Al-Amin.

Salihu Hamisu, an agroclimate expert, said African countries were faced with peculiar climate challenges, noting that northern Nigeria’s climate challenges range from irregular rainfall patterns to rising temperatures, which bring about drought and desert encroachment as seen around the border regions of north-eastern Nigeria.

“Recent data shows Africa contributes [only] 2% of greenhouse gas emissions yet the continent bears a huge burden of its impact. A good percentage of northern Nigerians are farmers and the decline in rainfall translates into a decrease in crop production and the availability of food. The media plays a crucial role in educating the populace on the actions that contribute to climate change as well as holding the government accountable on climate.”

 

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