Proceedings Report: South Asia Media Workshop on Adaptation to Climate Change, 18-20 May 2011, Nepal
Workshop Summary: Twenty-four media representatives from the South Asian countries of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka called for better understanding on the science behind climate change and increased attention on adaptation to climate change. The journalists had an opportunity to network and enhance their knowledge of regional climate change issues at the three-day South Asia Media Workshop on Adaptation to Climate Change, held in Dhulikhel and Kathmandu from 18 to 20 May.
The workshop, organised by the Regional Climate Change Adaptation Knowledge Platform for Asia (AKP), the Asia Pacific Adaptation Network (APAN), and the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) and its Asia Pacific Mountain Network (APMN), was designed to facilitate awareness raising on the increasing impacts of climate change, related vulnerabilities, and strategies for adaptation by mountain and dow stream populations through strengthening food, water, energy, environmental, and biodiversity security. The workshop also served to bring into focus the upcoming issues and agenda for UNFCCC and RIO+20 conferences and others.
At the opening of the workshop, Dr Young-Woo Park, Regional Director and Representative for Asia and the Pacific, United Nations Environment Programme Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, stressed that the basis of the three-day media workshop was harnwssing the power of media and their influence on public opinion in South Asia to raise awareness on climate change and the need to adapt to it. Dr Andreas Schild, Director General of ICIMOD, asserted that the workshop served as an effective means of providing media persons with the necessary information on the ongoing changes in different ecosystems, how such changes affect the resident population and how such effects translate to the global scale. He seconded Dr. Park’s statement and emphasized on the role of media persons as a link between knowledge institutions and the public and as important role players in spreading the ‘right message’ to the people.
Resource persons from ICIMOD, AKP, APAN, the Third Pole Project, the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI), the Center for Environmental and Geographic Information Services (CEGIS)-Bangladesh, and the Southeast Asia START (Global Change System for Analysis, Research and Training) Regional Center (SEA START)-Thailand familiarised the participants with the impacts of climate change on the water and agriculture sectors in mountain and coastal regions and the role of the media in sharing knowledge on climate change impacts and possible adaptation measures. During a day-long field visit to Panchkhal and Bhotekoshi, the participants visited community forests and questioned community members about issues related to reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation (REDD) and water scarcity. They also observed the extent of structural damage in the Upper Bhotekoshi area, where major glacial lake outburst flood incidents were noticed in 1964 and 1981.
The workshop came to a close at ICIMOD headquarters with closing remarks from the Director of Programmes, Dr Eklabya Sharma, followed by Vote of Thanks by Dr Young-Woo Park and a certificate distribution ceremony.