Fourteen press agencies have convened in Malaga with some of the strongest regional environmental organizations to find an answer to the challenges facing environmental reporting in the Mediterranean. The conclusions of these two days of debate have been echoed in a common voice through the Malaga Declaration published today.
More than 50 participants among which journalists from 15 countries from both shores of the Mediterranean have reached out to their counterparts on the institutional and NGO communication side, to discuss how cooperation can be reinforced towards a better environmental knowledge base and awareness raising activities from a journalistic perspective. This first Mediterranean forum has been organized by the IUCN Centre for Mediterranean Cooperation and the EFEverde of the EFE Agency in collaboration with the Alliance of Mediterranean News Agencies (AMAN), and hosted at the Municipal Museum of Cultural Heritage (MUPAM) in Malaga.
The Malaga public statement, endorsed by the participants of the meeting, advocates for the establishment of a partnership to provide mechanisms for cooperation among environmental and scientific information professionals from Mediterranean countries. The creation of a media network to promote better and coordinated scientific and environmental press coverage at Mediterranean level is one of the key objectives identified.
The IUCN Centre for Mediterranean Cooperation together with the Alliance of Mediterranean News Agencies has taken the occasion of this first Forum to analyze the results of the COP 21 in Paris and its implications for the Mediterranean with the Director of the Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (IDDRI),Teresa Ribera, the Director of the Blue Plan, Hugues Ravenel, the Secretary General of the High Commissariat for Water and Forests and the Fight against Desertification of Morocco, Abderrahim Houmy and the environmental journalist of EFEverde, Caty Arévalo. The Forum has provided also a dialogue platform to share different views on the current position of environmental reporting by press agencies, the needs to enhance the quantity and quality of relevant and influencing news, and a look at potential sources of support for cooperation activities and modalities among journalists and environmental institutions.
Antonio Troya, Director of the IUCN Centre for Mediterranean Cooperation, said “We expect the Malaga Declaration to be the first step towards the establishment of an effective Mediterranean media partnership for the environment. With the collaboration of AMAN, the professional interest of Mediterranean journalists and the institutional support of key institutions, we can now move forward to roll-out the much needed communication, exchanges and collaborative projects for the benefit of a better informed Mediterranean”.
It is anticipated that the network will look into capacity building and training activities for the media in preparation for the next COP 22 on Climate Change in Marrakech in November 2016.