The Acting Executive Director of the Environmental Protection Agency of Liberia (EPA), Randall M. Dobayou has asked female journalists across the country to champion environmental issues in their reports.
Hon. Dobayou said female reporters have over the years shown lack of interest in the environment and pleaded with members of the Female Journalists Associate of Liberia (FeJAL) to begin considering reporting environmental issues like climate change.
He made the statement at the start of two days training in Ganta, Nimba County for female journalists.
The training was organized by EPA in collaboration with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). It was organized under the auspices of the Cross Cutting Capacity Development (CCCD) Project funded by the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) with the theme: “Consolidating Liberia’s Media Professional with Rio Conventions for Improved Reporting.”
The CCCD Project seeks to provide support to the Government of Liberia to strengthen national capacities to meet global environmental obligations with the framework of sustainable development priorities.
The project has four components including the establishment of an integrated environmental knowledge management system (EKMS); enhancement of institutional and technical capacities for mainstreaming; improving awareness of global environmental values; and updating the National Capacity Self-Assessment (NCSA).
Speaking further, Hon. Dobayou said it is important for EPA to ensure that information regarding the Rio Conventions is made public through the media.
The acting EPA boss said the Agency intends to develop a pool of female reporters whose specific focus will be directly on environmental issues.
He noted that when female journalists have the requisite training and knowledge about the environment, they will go out and report on issues that are affecting the environment, thereby increasing public awareness on the environment and its impact.
“Every time I listen to the Press Union of Liberia (PUL) giving awards, there hasn’t been any award for environmental journalist; and we at the EPA will be ready and willing to sponsor the PUL to ensure that an award for environmental reporting is among the awards,” he said.
Also speaking, PUL President Charles Coffey said environmental issues and its impacts have globally become significant topic that requires everyone’s involvement, including the media.
Mr. Coffey said the mining sector is another form of environmental disaster that is taking place in Liberia that the media needs to also consider in their daily news reporting rather than the usual political issues.
He commended EPA for training more female journalists to highlight issues affecting environment by increasing their reportage on those issues relating to the environment.
For her part, the Vice President of the Female Journalists Association (FeJAL) Winnie S. Jimmy encouraged female reporters to take advantage of the knowledge acquired from the training to increase awareness on the country’s environment