Regional scientist calls for more active reporting on climate change related issues
In an attempt to further inform and educate the public in the Caribbean on matters pertaining to climate change, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, IPCC, in conjunction with the Caribbean Community Centre for Climate Change, brought together media personnel and persons involved in disseminating climate change information from throughout the region, to provide accurate information on climate change and to obtain first-hand information from journalists on how they [the journalists] could best be facilitated in supplying the regional populations with critical information on the serious consequences of climate change and measures that can be undertaken to adapt to the phenomenon.
Deputy Director & Science Adviser, Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre, Belize, Dr. Ulric Trotz, wants the regional print and broadcast media to pay more attention to news pertaining to climate change.
“We need to raise awareness across the different publics in the Caribbean from our policy makers, right down to the person in the street. We need action to deal with climate change. There is hardly any discussion in the regional press on climate change issues” the prominent regional scientist remarked.
Trotz believes that too often, the regional media provides information on unfolding weather-related events that leave a path of destruction during and after their passage.
“When we have a Matthew or an Otto, or one of these extreme rainfall events as we recently had in Saint Vincent and Barbados,” he noted, “that’s when the discussion appears.” The regional scientist says that given the major consequences of climate change on the livelihoods of citizens and businesses, the media must play its role in keeping the issue in the headlines and hopefully ensure that the political directorate do what is necessary to reduce the country’s and citizens’ risk to natural and climate-related disasters.
Dr. Trotz was speaking at a regional symposium University of the West Indies, Regional Headquarters Building, Mona, Kingston 7, Jamaica West Indies, where he addressed audience: Policymakers at national, state and city government level; international and intergovernmental organizations; climate and disaster risk management community; business leaders and organizations; civil society organizations; local science and research community; youth groups and students, national, regional and international media.
Among the objectives of the symposium were to raise awareness, especially among policymakers and the scientific community from the region, about the IPCC, its role, activities and work plan for the IPCC 6th Annual Report-AR6 and to foster a better understanding among the news media about climate science, solutions to climate change and the IPCC process.
Dr. Ulric Trotz pleads with the media to be more vigilant in reporting and disseminating information on climate change.