KARACHI: Speakers at a workshop on climate change urged journalists to learn more about the science of the phenomenon, and highlight its local impacts that were otherwise absent from the mainstream media coverage.

Titled Reporting on climate change: Making the invisible visible, the two-day event was jointly organised by the Centre for Excellence in Journalism (CEJ) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

The event was aimed at building technical knowledge and skills of journalists and promoting responsible and inclusive reporting.

Former minister for climate change Malik Amin Aslam, commenting on the need for a consolidated national response to climate change, said: “We have turned cities of gardens into cities of concrete. There are too many policies and negligent implementation. We need to move towards clean, nature-based solutions to this crisis.”

Journalists urged to highlight local impacts of climate change

The workshop allowed participants to learn about disaster risk reduction and management, politics and science of global climate change, and progress on the government’s national response to this phenomenon.

Experts pointed out that climate change was deeply intertwined with local patterns of inequality and those already marginalised or in vulnerable situations faced disproportionate impacts of this crisis.

They also warned that inaction on climate change would have serious consequences and urged reporters to connect climate science with local priorities.

“If we do not control the average temperature by 1.5 degrees by the end of this century, two-thirds of our glaciers will disappear, for which no substitute is available,” said glaciologist Dr Sher Mohammad at the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development.

Journalist and lead trainer for the workshop Shahzeb Jillani said it was imperative that we placed local communities at the heart of our stories and highlighted the indigenous impacts of climate change that were otherwise absent from the mainstream media coverage.

Karachi Urban Lab Director Dr Nausheen Anwar, Karachi Chief Meteorologist Sardar Sarfaraz and Maaz Tanveer also spoke.

Published in Dawn, August 5th, 2022

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