TACLOBAN CITY | March 26-27, 2015 – Climate Change Commission, through the Resilience and Preparedness toward Inclusive Development (RAPID) Program, conducted the first in a series of training workshops for members of the local press and information officers from its 12 target local governments in Leyte and Samar.
“We recognize the crucial role of media in training and making our communities aware of their involvement in disaster risk reduction, preparation and management ;– thus, helping us to achieve RAPID’s goal of rebuilding safer and more resilient communities affected by Typhoon Yolanda,” said Climate Change Commission Assistant Secretary Joyceline Goco. “
We already have the information backed-up by science, but we need the media to help us communicate the messages to our communities”.
Almost 40 information officers and local media practitioners joined the workshop. The two-day activity included an immersion in relocation sites in Tacloban City which provided an opportunity for the participants to interview displaced families and get their insights on climate change based on their experiences during Yolanda. Experts from government, the academe, and media practitioners were present to discuss topics on climate systems and climate change, disaster risk reduction, climate change adaptation, as well as innovative tools in reporting climate impacts and disasters and in staying safe while on the ground. Imelda Abano, President of the Philippine Network of Environmental Journalists facilitated the workshop.
“In times like these, the most important part of the story should be about safety. But sometimes, we think of the story and how to be the first to deliver the news, disregarding our own safety,” Said Mr. Red Batario, Executive Director of the Center for Community Journalism and Development and speaker on Building Media’s Resilience to Climate Change Impacts and Breaking The Norms in Public Journalism.
At the end of the activity, the participants gave their pledges to contribute in creating public awareness on the pressing issues of disaster risk reduction and resiliency building.
“As communicators, we understand that it is our responsibility to convey the message and raise public awareness on issues on natural disasters and hope that nothing like that ever happens again”, Vicky Arnaiz, one of the media practitioner participants, said.
“We know that climate change is a popular issue, and yet many of our local media practitioners find it challenging to make the reports personal for our audiences. We are exploring a partnership proposed by RAPID for the regular conduct of workshops such as this,” said by Director Nicart of the Philippine Information Agency in the region.
The RAPID Program is being implemented by the Climate Change Commission in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme and the Australian Government. RAPID supports the long-term recovery of 12 local government units which were affected by Typhoon Haiyan, namely, Tacloban City, Palo, Tanauan, Tolosa, Dulag, Mayorga, MacArthur, Abuyog, Basey, Marabut, Lawaan, and Balangiga by strengthening capacities of communities to manage climate and disaster risks.
Presentations during the Media workshop are available at: projectclimatetwinphoenix.com/resource-library/.