Heading back to Durban, South Africa to cover climate change.

This is a big one.

I received word last week that I have been selected to represent Hoy and attend the COP 17 conference of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

The gathering will be held in Durban, South Africa, just a few miles south from where I taught and coached at the Uthongathi School during the 1995-1996 school year as part of the Fulbright Teacher Exchange Program.

As you can read in the release below, I’ll be joined by 17 other journalists from around the world-we’re talking everywhere from Argentina to China, Nigeria to India, Malawi to Brazil, to name just a few-all of whom actively cover the issue of climate change.

Our attendance is sponsored by the Climate Change Media Partnership, a joint initiative between the International Institute for Environment and Development, Internews and Panos London to improve media coverage of climate change. Since 2007 it has provided over 170 fellowships to enable journalists to attend and report on the UN climate change negotiations.

This conference is particularly critical because UN talks in Durban could spell either the demise or rebirth of the Kyoto Protocol.

In all, we’ll spend two weeks  reporting on the intergovernmental negotiations and receiving training, editorial support, special briefings from senior scientists and a field trip, among other activities.

Needless to say, I’m thrilled and honored beyond belief.

I’ll keep you posted about the preparations for the big trip, and, for now, just wanted to share the good news.

Here’s the text of the release:

Journalists win fellowships to report on key climate-change conference

Submitted by Mike on Wed, 05/10/2011 – 17:23

The Climate Change Media Partnership (CCMP) has awarded journalists from 14 countries with fellowships to attend crucial UN talks in Durban that could spell the demise or rebirth of the Kyoto Protocol.

The 18 journalists – from Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean and the United States – will spend two weeks at the COP17 conference of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change to report on the intergovernmental negotiations and receive training, editorial support, special briefings from senior scientists and a field trip, among other activities.

“Without the CCMP, many countries would have zero media representation at the UN negotiations,” says James Fahn of Internews’ Earth Journalism Network. “Now, millions of people worldwide will get locally relevant media reports about what is going on at the conference, as negotiators make decisions that could affect our lives for many years.”

The CCMP is a joint initiative between the International Institute for Environment and Development, Internews and Panos London to improve media coverage of climate change. Since 2007 it has provided over 170 fellowships to enable journalists to attend and report on the UN climate change negotiations.

“The CCMP fellowship improves the skills of journalists as they grapple with complex climate change issues,” says Tim Williams of Panos London. “It also provides opportunities for journalists to meet leading scientists and policy-makers from around the world and build lasting relationships with them and other networks over the years ahead.”

Around 700 journalists — almost 100 more than last year — applied for the fellowships through a highly competitive process.

“We are excited at the thought of working with a new cohort of CCMP fellows, and would like to bring more of the top candidates,” says Mike Shanahan of IIED. “Former CCMP fellows have gone on to become leading climate change journalists in their countries and part of a growing global family that is committed to quality reporting on this issue.”

The CCMP will publish stories from the COP17 conference on its website — www.climatemediapartnership.org — which provides a platform for the fellows’ climate-change reporting and useful resources for other journalists.

The 2011 fellows and their media outlets are: Maria Gabriela Ensinck (El Cronista Comercial, Argentina); Flavia Moraes (O Eco, Brazil); Li Jing (China Daily, China); Lorenzo Morales (Semana, Colombia); Stella Paul (Planet Earth, India); Isyana Artharini (Yahoo! Indonesia, Indonesia); Carol Francis (TVJ, Jamaica); Tiwonge Ng’ona (The Guardian Newspaper, Malawi); Chrisjan Appollus (Namibian Broadcasting Corporation, Namibia); Armsfree Ajanaku (The Guardian Newspapers Ltd, Nigeria); Faisal Raza Khan (DAWN News, Pakistan); Dave Durbach (Daily Sun, South Africa); Sean Christie (Mail and Guardian newspaper, South Africa); Fidelis Zvomuya (Agriconnect Communication Media, South Africa); Hasina Mjingo (Tanzania Standard Newspaper Limited); Deodatus Mfugale (Journalists Environmental Association of Tanzania); Heather King (Greenbiz.com, United States) and Jeff Kelly Lowenstein (Hoy, United States).

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4 responses to “Heading back to Durban, South Africa to cover climate change.

  1. This is a big one, Jeff. Both the event itself and for you to have the opportunity to return to where you taught now 15 years ago. It will be exciting to see some of the people again, assuming your schedule will permit. There will have to be a way for you to visit the school, etc. Congratulations and good luck!

    • jeffkellylowenstein3

      Thanks, Dave. I look forward to catching up with you soon about this.

      Hope all is well with you and yours.

      Jeff

  2. Wow, the hits just keep on comin’! You’re in some elite, and very select, company down there. In our recent phone conversation, I could hear how excited you are with the prospects of meeting the South African teacher who was your Fulbright counterpart and taught in Newton in 1995, the man who says he looks forward to meeting you while you’re in SA so he can “rekindle the Zulu in you”! I think you last saw him in 2007. I know you’ve been speed reading through tons of material to have foundation knowledge on which to house all you’ll learn in Durban.
    I look forward to seeing how the new knowledge manifests itself in your reporting at Hoy.

    • jeffkellylowenstein3

      Great memory as usual, PT. I’ll be seeing Vukani in a few, well not so short, hours, and can’t wait.

      I’ll send you the links to what I write.

      Jeff

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