Dr Soetomo Press Institute (LPDS) Executive Director Priyambodo R.H. opened a ten-day journalism workshop March 18 on reporting on climate change in provinces with high carbon emissions due to forest damage. Ten journalists from Sumatra, Kalimantan and Papua were invited to Jakarta for the March 18-27 workshop. One reporter from Palangkaraya, Central Kalimantan, failed to come due to illness.
The workshop is a part of the LPDS Covering Climate Change program that receives support from the Royal Norwegian embassy. The workshop participants hail from regions that have high greenhouse gas emissions caused by deforestation and forest degradation. They are assigned to cover a local climate change issues in a region that is neither their region of origin nor Jakarta. This workshop takes the form of a travel fellowship. Its aim is to enhance the understanding and the reportorial quality of journalists on climate change.
On day one of the workshop at the LPDS campus in Jakarta, the participants received insight through current information on climate change from two resource persons. William Sabandar, team leader for operations, REDD+ Management Agency, talked on the “REDD+ Agency in Operation.” REDD is reduction of emissions from deforestation and degradation. The plus sign signifies additional activities in conservation, carbon stock building and improvement in the livelihood of forest communites.
Emilia Bassar, climate change communication specialist and lecturer at Mercu Buana University and the University of Indonesia, presented “ Public Perspectives on Climate Change and Post-2014 Leaders, a Survey Analysis.” The participants later got a briefing on their field assignment from the LPDS mentors team.
In welcome remarks, Priyambodo said the Covering Climate Change workshop is the fourth cooperative project between the LPDS and the Norwegian embassy. The first workshop was on press ethics 2009-2010. The second was on press ethics and covering conflict 2011. The third project was on covering climate change in 10 provinces 2012-2013.
Meanwhile the representative from the Norwegian embassy, Kristian Jul Rosjo, first secretary for political and trade affairs, said that on climate change matters Norway cooperates with the state, the private sector, civil society and the fourth estate, the media. Every society needs a watchdog to check efficiency. The media also plays a role in spreading information. Information creates knowledge. Knowledge creates awareness, Rosjo said.
Rosjo was impressed by the fact that six of the nine workshop participants are women. “We are proud of what we do in Norway when it comes to women. Including women in society is a recipe for a successful society. Take this gender perspective with you in your reporting,” Rosjo urged.
Norway is a major donor nation in the REDD initiative. Based on an agreement in May 2010, Norway is to grant up to USD 1 billion to Indonesia in progressive amounts in line with the level of reduced carbon emissions verified from forests saved. A similar grant is provided to Brazil that has the Amazon, the world’s largest expanse of tropical rainforest.
The travel workshop participants are winners of an LPDS climate reporting competition that ended Feb. 28. After receiving their briefing, on day two the participants headed to their respective assignment areas. They spend three full days in the field to produce three articles relating to a local climate change situation: a minimum 600-word interpretative feature, a 400-word profile, and a 400-word free-to-choose topic. Upon their return to Jakarta, the journalism fellows in turn present their interpretative features for comment from their peers on substance and style. The LPDS mentors team then give their evaluation. A second travel fellowship workshop is due May 2014.
The travel fellowship participants :
Note: Cholid Trisubagiyo, reporter Tabengan daily, Palangkaraya, was unable to attend.
Photo: Radio reporter Marga Rahayu, RRI, Samarinda,interviews Kristian Jul Rosjo, first secretary political and trade affairs, Norwegian Embassy.