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(Bonn, 10 May 2017) - As part of a journalism competition launched today, ten journalists from the Pacific island region will get the unique chance to travel to and report from this year’s UN climate conference taking place in Bonn, Germany (COP23, 6 – 17 November).
The competition will award journalists from print, on-line and radio/TV with the prize of sponsored participation in the conference, media training at the prestigious DW Akademie and access to UN and other experts.
The decision to launch a Pacific island journalism competition reflects the important role the small island developing State of Fiji will be playing at the 23rd Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change - the official title of the conference.
Fiji will be presiding over COP23 and the Fijian Prime Minister, Frank Bainimarama, will undertake the key role of COP President on behalf of all countries attending.
The competition has been generously funded by the German Government’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Thomas Meister, Head of the Ministry’s Division for International Climate and Environmental Policy said:
“The media play a central role as navigators and mediators between the international climate talks, the science community and civil society. The German Foreign Office is thus happy to support a media training centered around COP23 for 10 journalists from the Pacific region, a region that is among those worst affected by climate change.”
Nick Nuttall, Director of Communications of the UNFCCC and Spokesperson for COP23, said: “We are thrilled that Germany’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs agreed to support this competition. Both the government and the UNFCCC were concerned that the costs of getting to and from Bonn would have been prohibitive for many journalists from that region.”
“Yet we both acknowledged that it was vital to have media from that location here to report to their publics and witness the negotiations, the rich array of Global Climate Action events taking place and the cultural activities that surround such conferences,” he added.
John Connor, the Executive Director of the Fijian COP23 Presidency Secretariat, encouraged all Pacific journalists with an interest in climate change to take part in the competition.
“Thanks to the generous support of the German Government, this is a wonderful opportunity for ten journalists to attend the foremost international conference on climate change, an issue of absolute priority in the region. Joining the world’s media in Bonn, they will be able to tell the story of how the world is responding to this escalating crisis from the Pacific perspective – ensuring that Pacific voices are heard. They will also bring the experience and training they gain home with them, boosting the standard of climate reporting across the region," he said.
DW Akademie Director Christian Gramsch said:
"As DW Akademie, we are pleased to offer media training for journalists from the Pacific Islands during COP23, contributing to independent quality journalism in the field of climate change. The selected journalists will report first hand on climate topics that are crucial to their audiences. It is a pleasure to work so closely with UNFCCC on this innovative project."
Who can participate in the competition?
The competition, which will run from now to June 15, invites journalists from Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Micronesia (Federated States of), Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. Journalists can be operating in the area of print journalism including on-line, radio and TV and should be representing a recognized media organization.
What should be submitted?
Journalists should submit two examples of their work produced between the beginning of 2016 and now and which illustrate one or all of the following:
The journalistic products should illustrate how local communities are benefiting from such action, and include concrete examples and personal stories.
Applicants can submit examples of their work via e mail or, for TV and radio features, a standard transfer system such as Wetransfer.
A judging committee consisting of two members of the UNFCCC chaired by Nick Nuttall, Director of Communications; two from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs communications branch; and two independent judges representing the Fijian COP23 Presidency. Their decision is final. The winners will be announced at the beginning of July.
What is on offer?
The ten winning journalists will receive return air tickets from their country to Bonn; daily subsistence; accreditation to COP23, access to UN and other experts and the opportunity to report from the climate conference as well as a media training package from the DW Akademie. Moreover, the journalistic products of the participants that will be produced at COP23 will feature on a dedicated DW Media Akademie web page, and on the UNFCCC and COP23 Presidency websites.
The candidates are expected to be available to participate for the full duration of COP23 and of the workshop, which means arriving in Germany on 4 November and leaving 19 November.
Please send entries to competitions(at)unfccc.int, with the reference "Pacific island journalism competition" in the subject line.
More information can be found on the relevant DW Akademie web page here
Media contacts: John Hay, UNFCCC Newsroom Editor and Social Media Lead (jhay(at)unfccc.int) or Merjam Wakili at the DW Akademie (merjam.wakili(at)dw.com).
UNFCCC Press Office: press(at)unfccc.int
See also: http://unfccc.int
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The image at the top of the story shows people offloading solar panels in the outer islands of Yap State in the Federated States of Micronesia, as part of the North Pacific Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency project. Under the project, the governments of the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Republic of Palau have joined forces with the European Union and the Pacific Community (SPC) to boost renewable energy, thereby reducing dependency on fossil fuels and improving people’s quality of life.