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May 20, 2024
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World Press Freedom Day: Environment Minister clamour for Effective climate journalism

The Minister of State for Environment, Dr Iziaq Salako, has called for effective climate journalism in order to address environmental challenges in the country.

Salako made the call at the 2024 World Press Freedom Day on Friday in Abuja.

The theme of this year’s celebration is “A Press for the Planet: Journalism in the Face of the Environmental Crisis.’’

He said there was need to reaffirm the collective commitment to the principles of a free and independent press as a sine qua non for effective climate journalism.

“Press freedom is indispensable to promote transparency, accountability and social justice; critical to communicating the threat posed by climate crisis and making informed decisions to be more environmentally responsible.

“You as journalists have a critical role to play in driving environmental policy formulation and implementation and also in shaping public perception about the crisis.’’

According to him, journalism plays a pivotal role in advancing environmental agendas, serving as a catalyst for change, a watchdog for accountability, and a voice for the voiceless.

He said that through investigative reporting, insightful analysis and compelling storytelling, journalists shed light on the pressing issues of environmental crisis facing the nation and inspired mass action towards positive change.

“Without such mass actions, we will be unable to win the fight against the environmental challenges confronting our country; ignorance, lack of awareness and appropriate knowledge about the climate crisis is still rampant in our society.

“This year’s theme cannot be coming at a better time as the world grapples with the greatest threat to our existence; the triple environmental crisis of climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution.’’

Salako added that the theme resonated loudly with the challenges faced and the responsibilities collectively held as stewards of planet earth.

“Let us therefore work together across sectors and borders; to harness the power of media in addressing the environmental crisis and advancing sustainable development,’’ he said.

Director-General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), Ms Andrey Azoulay, said that the ecosystem had a key role to play in addressing environmental crisis.

Azoulay, who was represented by Abdourahamane Diallo, Head of UNESCO Abuja, said that it was pertinent to protect the earth by engaging the media in climate change activities in order to tackle environmental issues.

She added that no effective climate action was possible without access to free and reliable scientific information.

“As humanity faces up to this existential peril, we must remember, on this World Day, that the climate challenge is also a journalistic and informational challenge.”

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