Fatou Sosseh Jallow made the admonition in an address she delivered last week during a two-day training for environmental journalists organised by the United Nations Development Programme in partnership with the National Platform for Sustainable Fisheries at Tango.
She said: “As journalists in the natural resources sector, you are expected and required to be engaged in continued capacity development on information, education and communication as it relates to natural resources conservation, management and development. This will help you so that in your reporting, mistakes, misinformation and confusions are avoided to the maximum. You are required to offer opportunities for a two-way and horizontal communication, support bottom-up articulation of development needs, support, create and strengthen interactive and collaborative networks between natural resources actors. You are also required to support policy and advocacy, help build consensus, and enhance genuine partnership with government, civil society, the fisher-folks and communities.
“In a committed and collective spirit of cooperation, this training is aimed at equipping you [journalists] in improving your knowhow on environmental issues taking into account international conventions, protocols and instruments on responsible natural resources management for the benefit of now and future generations. Further benefits need to be weighed against immediate costs and short-term interest against long-term sustainability. Having identified these problems has led to new approaches to communicating with rural people that sought a better understanding of their local situation and involved them in identifying the issues that affected them most directly. This led to the adoption of techniques such as rapid rural appraisal, ecosystem approach to fisheries and fisheries management, precautionary approach, which enabled development workers and other outside experts to gather simple data quickly on issues identified at local level. It will also allow some participation of semi-literate and illiterate people.”]]>