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Pacific Seminar For Environmental Journalism

Seminar Planned For Environmental Journalism

SUVA (USP Journalism/Pacific Media Watch): The University of the South Pacific journalism programme and the Fiji Media Council will co-host a daylong seminar on the environment for journalists tomorrow (Wed, Feb 15).

The seminar at the Laucala Campus in Suva will feature scientists, researchers, environmentalists and experts from four regional and international environmental groups Greenpeace, the World Wildlife Fund, the Foundation of the People of the South Pacific and SeaWeb, a communications-based non-profit organisation that advances ocean conservation.

Speakers from the University of the South Pacific¹s Oceans and Islands faculty, Institute of Applied Science, biology department and chemistry department will also address professional and student journalists during the seminar.

The USP¹s journalism programme coordinator, Shailendra Singh, said the seminar had been organised to give journalists an insight into the major environmental issues affecting Fiji and the fragile ecosystems of the region.

"Providing in-depth and analytical environmental coverage is a challenge for journalists and the aim of the seminar is to enrich the media¹s understanding of this crucial issue, keeping in mind that journalists are well positioned to inform, influence and educate the public, as well galvanise public opinion and advocacy," said Singh

Topics covered will include conservation biology, climatic change, over fishing, marine protected areas and turtle conservation, evolving environmental issues in Fiji, biodiversity, the depletion and protection of resources and plastics as a major environmental hazard.

Among the speakers is Samir Patel, a freelance environmental science journalist and photographer from New York.

Patel, whose work has appeared in The New York Times, Christian Science Monitor, Columbia Science Review, City Limits Weekly, Physicians Practice and New York Daily News, is supported on this trip to the South Pacific by a Pulitzer Traveling Fellowship awarded by the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

His topic is "Environmental Journalism: Islands of Understanding".

A representative from Fiji¹s Environment Department will speak on Fiji¹s recently passed Environment Management Act.

Singh said that at the end of the exercise the group would look at what it could collectively do to improve the field of environmental reporting.



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