Inter Press Service (IPS) Africa partnered with the Media Development and Diversity Agency (MDDA) to promote community media participation at the 17th Conference of the Parties (COP17) in Durban, South Africa.
With support from the MDDA, IPS Africa took 10 community print media reporters to the critical climate change meeting to participate in producing its flagship "TerraViva" publication.
"The MDDA has over the years since its inception supported capacity building interventions in community and small commercial media. This partnership is an opportunity we embraced, after we supported 45 community radio, community newspapers and community television women producer to participate at the Women in Media & Environment Conference held in September 2011," said MDDA Chief Executive Officer, Lumko Mtimde.
The Conference of Parties of the UN framework convention on climate change (UNFCCC), was held in Durban, South Africa, from 28 November to 9 December 2011 (known as COP17), and critical issues were put on the agenda.
Research indicates that African communities will be hardest hit by climate change. Community media is strategically positioned as a communication tool and a platform for information dissemination in rural and peri-urban communities who do not have access to mainstream media like in the cities. This media can play a role through their media as it is not only produced at a local level, but in the indigenous languages too.
"Community media plays a critical role in highlighting the impact of climate change in communities across the region. It plays an equally critical role in taking back the message of adaptation to its readers. Community media face numerous huddles to cover such international events. This training and publication will go a long way in ensuring that community voices are highlighted," said IPS Regional Director Paula Fray.