The Global Environment Facility (GEF) is the premier international environmental donor, providing nearly $18 billion in grants and mobilizing an additional $93 billion in co-financing for environmental projects in 170 countries since it was set up at the Earth Summit in 1992. It is the main vehicle that helps ensure that global environmental treaties are actually implemented, and so it is crucial journalists be able to understand and cover how it works.
With that in mind and support from GEF, EJN brought experienced journalists from partner networks in eight countries across three continents to the 6th GEF Assembly in Danang, Vietnam last week. The assembly is the governing body of the GEF, composed of all 183 member countries, and meets every four years to review a wide range of policies and practices.
The journalist Fellows participated in a pre-conference Orientation session, a field trip to local GEF-supported projects, and interviews with major figures like UN Environment chief Erik Solheim and the head of the UN Development Program, Achim Steiner.
Welcoming the fellows for a visit to the Danang office of Vietnam’s largest newspaper, international news desk head and long-time EJN partner Bui Tien Dung talked about how important it is for international journalists to use opportunities like this to connect. “I’m busy [in Ho Chi Minh City] and it’s hard to get away, but I had to come for this chance, because I knew I’d have a lot of real journalists from different countries talking about the environment. I could learn something from them. I could help them learn something about Vietnam, and to know some local journalists.”
The participating Fellows are:
- Bui Tien Dung (Vietnam) – Tuoi Tre
- Purple Romero (Philippines) – Al Jazeera Media Network
- Paritta Wongkiat (Thailand) – Bangkok Post
- Shi Yi (China) – The Paper
- Vishal Gulati (India) – Indo-Asian News Agency
- Revolusi Riza (Indonesia) – CNN
- Hoang Quoc Dung (Vietnam) – Thienh Phong
- Innocent Onoh (Nigeria) – Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria
- Daniela Chiaretti (Brazil) – Valor Economico
The EJN Fellowship program was led by Joydeep Gupta from the Third Pole, Jeff Rutherford and EJN Asia-Pacific Coordinator Juthamas Sukitjanont.