Environment reporting for local media officers

Ms Mafile’o Masi and participants at the media and communication training this morning. Photo: MARIAN KUPU/PEJN

Nuku’alofa – March 12, 2019: 3.50pm (MEIDECC): The Department of Environment under the Ministry of MEIDECC in partnership with the Pacific Environment Journalists Network (PEJN) in Tonga are hosting a three-day training on Environment Reporting in Tonga at the Baha’i Faith Hall, Kolofo’ou.

The training was opened this morning by the Chief Environmentalist from the Department of Environment Ms. Mafile’o Masi.

The training aims to help develop writing skills and presentation of stories on environment reporting for different medium.

Masi said the environment reporting media and communication training has come at a time when environment issues are taking center stage in the media worldwide. Climate Change has also added to existing issues that many of the Pacific islands are experiencing.

“Making information available to people is always a challenge for any organization, let alone government. But we need to provide the information to people so that they can learn to make decisions based on what they know or learn. Protecting our environment and keeping it sustainable for our future generations here in Tonga is very important.”

She noted that this training will open the door for the department to forge a partnership with the media in general. “We hope that this community will help us work together in ensuring that our people know what is happening, why that is happening, where it is happening, how it is happening and what we need to be doing.”

Pacific Environment Journalists Network Chairman Iliesa Tora said the training is important in fostering good understanding and relationship between the media, government and members of the public.

“We are thankful to the Environment Department for getting this done because the PEJN believes in the importance of information being made available to the media so that the media can then advise people in their own language and style about what is being done and what we need to do about environment issues.

“By having information we can then share that so that people can be informed and are able to make decisions based on what they have learned and know about issues.”

The training includes a field visit to Nukuleka and Lapaha to allow participants to develop stories from two Special Management Areas of the Ministry of Fisheries.

Participants include reps from different media organizations, Ministry of Fisheries, Civil Society and students from Media and Journalism School at Tonga Institute of Higher Education.

The training is funded by the Department of Environment of the Ministry of MEIDECC.

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