Regional sci­en­tist calls for more ac­tive re­port­ing on cli­mate change re­lated is­sues

The Star (St. Lucia) - - REGIONAL -

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.

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