Toolkit to empower media to share ocean stories

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“Our Pacific Ocean, Our Stories”: Workshop participants with their certificates.

“Our Pacific Ocean, Our Stories”: Workshop participants with their certificates.

“Our Pacific Ocean, Our Stories” an Ocean Toolkit for Pacific Media has been launched recognising the role of the media in empowering informed Pacific conversations and decision making for the better of our environment.

The Ocean Toolkit is funded by the European Union’s “Capacity Building related to Multilateral Environment Agreements in African, Caribbean and Pacific Countries Phase II Project” known as ACP MEA’s 2.  The Project is implemented by UN Environment with the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) as the Pacific hub.

“Our Media Outreach Programme at SPREP undertakes a wide range of activities spanning regional and national training, support with internal media organisation processes such as development of climate and disaster resilience plans, as well as the production of resources,” said Easter Galuvao, Director of Environmental Monitoring and Governance of SPREP.

 “This was just one of many different ways that we work to support our Pacific media and help them tell our Pacific stories in the hope of raising awareness of environmental issues, bringing about informed discussion and positive actions for environmental sustainability.  We are grateful for the partnership with the EU and the ACP MEA 2 Project for their support.”

The Pacific Ocean is the world’s largest ocean covering nearly one-third of the Earth’s surface, and is home to many of the world’s marine species.  Our ocean health is under threat as it faces challenges from marine debris and plastic pollution as well as climate change.

Through this Ocean Toolkit for Pacific Media, it is envisaged that Pacific media become familiar with the ocean issues telling our stories of challenges and successes as we work towards ocean conservation.  It is also through this toolkit that an understanding of the overall linkages between all environment concerns are realised, that you cannot address one environment issue along without addressing them all.

The e-toolkit was launched with a series of four initial factsheets that span the topics of our Pacific Ocean, Marine Debris, Marine Plastic Pollution, and our Coral Reef.  Once a month two more factsheets will be added to this e-toolkit which is available online.

“The media is crucial in terms of passing information and raising awareness about the causes of climate change or pollution and what can be done about it.  These issues can be complex, that’s why it’s useful to have these types of tools with Pacific perspectives,” said Mr Christoph Wagner, Head of Cooperation of the Delegation of the European Union for the Pacific.

“We are very happy that SPREP has helped make this happen.”

Also launched this year on World Ocean Day was the Our Pacific Ocean Media Award, a partnership between the Pacific Community, Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, Office of the Pacific Ocean Commissioner, SPREP and the EU ACP MEA2 Project and the Pacific Islands News Association.

The Media Award calls upon submissions from Pacific reports on ocean news developed and shared.  This Ocean Toolkit for Pacific media is available to help empower and encourage more news stories on this issue.

While the Ocean Toolkit was envisaged as a resource to be developed over 2018, growing interest from other partners may see it grow further, with future factsheets to span ocean science, ocean acidification and the range of regional and international agreements committing countries to protect our ocean.

 “As the toolkit evolves and is updated on a monthly basis, we hope it will become a ‘one-stop shop; for us journalists who are keen to cover ocean issues here in Fiji and in the Pacific,” said Mr Pita Ligaula of the PACNEWS Agency and the Pacific Islands News Association (PINA).

 “PINA is pleased to support this resource which will be a ‘living’ document available online for our Pacific media.  It contains information of Pacific relevance, citing Pacific examples as well as some prompts for us all to develop more news about our ocean.”

Our Pacific Ocean, Our Stories, the Ocean Toolkit for Pacific Media was launched on 24 July on the sidelines of the “Strengthening Media Capacity on Climate Change Reporting in the Pacific Islands Workshop”.  Held over 24 and 25 July, the Pacific reporters will then provide media coverage on the Climate Action Pacific Partnership in Suva, Fiji.  The workshop is a partnership between Internews, Earth Journalism Network, Climate Action Pacific Partnership and SPREP.

To access the Ocean Toolkit for Pacific Media please visit: https://www.sprep.org/ocean-toolkit-pacific-media-our-pacific-ocean-our-stories/factsheets Should you wish to know more on this please contact Ms. Nanette Woonton at Nanettew@sprep.org

© Samoa Observer 2016

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