A few islands in an ocean

EJN Awards Grants for Investigative Environmental Reporting in Asia and the Pacific

May 26, 2020

Following a competitive call for story proposals, Internews’ Earth Journalism Network (EJN) recently selected six journalists to receive story grants for investigative environmental reporting. The grants are part of EJN’s Asia-Pacific project and will cover reporting projects in Bhutan, China, Indonesia, India and Vietnam.

Their investigations are wide-ranging, seeking to expose issues such as the environmental impacts of mega hydropower projects, the pollution and resultant health risks posed by reckless disposal of hazardous industrial waste, and how a lack of regulation and transparency combined with geopolitics are undermining efforts to tackle air pollution and its health consequences.

This is EJN Asia-Pacific’s second batch of investigative story grantees in 2020, and follows a round of grants awarded to another five journalists from India, Indonesia, Vietnam and the Cook Islands. Those grants were awarded at the beginning of this year and the reporters are currently working on their stories, despite travel restrictions during the Covid-19 pandemic.

As a result, some grantees have not been able to conduct field reporting as planned, and have been focusing on online research and phone interviews instead. EJN staff are working closely with them to provide the flexibility and support they need.

EJN Asia-Pacific’s investigative environmental story grantees:

  Name of Grantee   Country of Residence

  1. Chencho Dema

  Bhutan

  2. Michael Standaert

  United States /China

  3. Mochammad Asad

  Indonesia

  4. Mukta Patil

  United States / India

  5. Neha Thirani Bagri

  India

  6. Viola Gaskell

  Hong Kong SAR China

  7. Adi Renaldi

  Indonesia

  8. Mustafa SIlalahi

  Indonesia

  9. Ishan Kukreti

  India

  10. Rachel Reeves

  Cook Islands

  11. Nguyen Thi Mai Lan

  Vietnam

In addition to these grants for investigative stories, EJN also provided funding in March of this year specifically for coverage by South Pacific journalists, as part of our efforts to deepen support for environmental reporting in the vast region. Six journalists from Papua New Guinea, Fiji and the Solomon Islands received story grants to explore the importance of mangrove ecosystems for bay conservation, the impacts of logging on biodiversity, the problems with capturing undersized fish, the displacement of marine life due to sea level rise, challenges faced by climate migrants, and the illegal export of endangered and protected tree species.

  Name of Grantee   Country of Residence

  1. Benjamin Kedoga

  Papua New Guinea

  2. Alfred Pagepitu Evapitu

  Solomon Islands

  3. Sheldon Chanel

  Fiji

  4. Luke Rawalai

  Fiji

  5. Stanley Ian Simpson

  Fiji

  6. Charles Noel Piringi (Charley Piringi)

  Solomon Islands

We look forward to supporting these important stories and will continue to extend opportunities so reporters can cover the environment more effectively and with more depth.

(Banner photo: Aerial view of Marovo Lagoon, Solomon Islands. Credit: Dominique Bernard/UN/CC)