What problems currently impact the food production? How can agricultural activities result in lower greenhouse gas emissions while also being productive enough to feed a growing global population? These questions and more were discussed during three recent webinars aimed at helping journalists from around the world better cover the impacts of climate change on agriculture and food systems.
Around 120 journalists joined the 90-minute webinars, which each focused on specific issues in one of three regions: Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa and Asia. Hosted by Internews' Earth Journalism Network (EJN) in partnership with the CGIAR Research Center and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), each session offered attendees the opportunity to hear from leading scientific experts in their region and learn new tools to better cover the challenges facing the agricultural sector.
Experts leading the Latin America-focused webinar on Feb. 12 shared deforestation trends with the dozens of journalists who participated and explained the impact of land-use changes on the global climate.
EJN-affiliated journalist Fermín Koop moderated the discussion and provided a set of reporting tips. Then participants had the chance to ask questions and explore ideas that could lead to future investigative stories.
About 30 African journalists participated in the webinar held on Feb. 13, which generated significant interest from participants on adaptation, science and environmental policy issues.
Moderated by David Akana, managing editor of the InfoCongo website, and assisted by Michael Simire, editor of EnviroNews Nigeria, the webinar featured experts Evan Girvetz, senior scientist at CIAT’s Kenya office, and Solomon Dawit, East Africa regional program leader at CCFAS.
Although adapting to climate change is important, the experts said journalists should also seek to understand mitigation as it is critical for African countries. They also pointed to the work they are doing at the country-level for story leads and contacts.
The Feb. 19 webinar was moderated by EJN’s South Asia Content Coordinator Ramesh Bhushal and led by speakers Godefroy Grosjean, who heads the Climate Policy Hub at CCAFS, and Leocadio Sebastian, CCAFS’s Southeast Asia Regional Program Leader.
As with experts in other sessions, Godefroy and Leocadio explored innovations in climate-smart agriculture (CSA) and shared some of the initiatives taking place in the region that utilize technology to help local farmers cope with climate change impacts.
Each webinar included time for participants to ask questions at the end. Among them, how can CSA practices empower women, how can governments assist millions of farmers in Southeast Asia with limited financial resources, who usually leads the adoption of CSAs, how important it is to communicate the global story of climate change to farmers, and how can journalists better communicate the problems and solutions of agriculture to the public?
Video recordings of the webinars are now available under the Reporter Resources section of EJN’s website.