Monday, 11 June 2012

Pacific reports from the Rio+20

A Pacific team will be providing media coverage of the World’s biggest sustainable development conference, known as Rio+20, in Rio de Janeiro this month. Keeping Pacific communities informed about events and activities that unfold at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development.

The Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) is supported by the Pacific Media Assistance Scheme (PACMAS) for a new approach on sharing stories and news from different perspectives. This activity will help provide media coverage on the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, Rio+20, as well as help develop the skills of young Pacific islanders that have proven potential.

Two experienced senior reporters from the Pacific, Ms. Makereta Komai, Editor of PACNEWS and Mr. Evan Wasuka of One Television Solomon Islands, will be providing regional coverage both in print and with video clips to be uploaded to the SPREP website available for download.

Two young Pacific islanders will also be providing news items from a different perspective as well as taking parts in events. A junior environmental advocate, Ms. Brianna Fruean at 14 years of age, will be participating in the ‘Youth blast’ and other events at Rio+20 and provide a daily journal and news items from a youth perspective. Ms. Kathleen Leewai, an intern at SPREP, will also be compiling news items for distribution, she is funded by both PACMAS and Conservation International Pacific Island Program.

A documentary will also be produced on the Rio+20 by the team.

“We’re really pleased with this support and guidance from PACMAS. Rio+20 is where environmental history will be created, it’s where the decisions will be made that will see actions trickle down to the community level over time ,” said Nanette Woonton, the Media and Public Relations Officer at SPREP.

“We’re trying for a new approach that will hopefully connect Pacific communities with what happens at this meeting, giving our Pacific youth a voice to share with all, along with our regular news items.”

The PACMAS Project Management Group and Programme Manager paid a courtesy visit to SPREP last month and with this initial project, intend to strengthen relations to help build the capacity of Pacific media to report on environmental issues.

PACMAS has provided guidance for SPREP with the Rio+20 media team in terms of selection, outcomes required as well as financially.

“Thank you PACMAS for making this possible,” said Woonton.

“This is an exciting project as the Rio+20 is the Forum where the world is to work together to help achieve a sustainable development and having this documented in media reports, a documentary and having a Pacific youth present who will help contribute to the Future we want, well as I said, it’s exciting. We are looking forward to it.”

There are two themes for the Conference; A green economy in the context of sustainable development poverty eradication; and the institutional framework for sustainable development.

The Pacific region will be hosting a side event in Rio – applying the green economy in a blue world. It will feature visionary and well-respected Pacific leaders and will focus on the reality of effectively managing the Pacific Ocean and the resources it has to offer.

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