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Recently Launched Journalism Award to Boost Zambia’s Climate Change Advocacy: Official

Mr. Eugene Kabilika, Executive Director of Caritas Zambia.

The Agro-ecology and Climate Change Media Awards, which Caritas Zambia launched October 29 in partnership with Action Aid and Zambia’s Participatory Ecological Land Use Management (PELUM Zambia) aims at improving advocacy on climate emergency, an official has told ACI Africa.

“We launched this award because we want to encourage our local media to report more on the issues of agroecology, climate change and the environment,” the Director of Caritas Zambia, Eugene Kabilika told ACI Africa November 4.

Mr. Kabilika added in reference to the media in Zambia, “We want them to change the narrative of the way people understand and explain these fundamentals as they relate to the protection of our common home,”.

“The tendency is that the media goes to people and after interviewing them they take their views as what it is. There is no linkage between the environment, agroecology and climate change,” the Director of the development and humanitarian arm of the Catholic Bishops in Zambia explained.

He continued, “We want the media to start making this connection of the functioning of the environment and climate change.”

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“We want them to look at agroecology, which is an alternative to industrial agriculture as the way to go and it will reverse the malfunctions on the environment,” Mr. Kabilika added.  

The Caritas Zambia Director also told ACI Africa that the award also aims at convincing journalists in the landlocked Southern African country to become “ambassadors of agroecology, ambassadors of actions that reverse climate change and ambassadors of the environment.”

Explaining how news people are in a better position to be ambassadors, he said, “Journalists can help to amplify our advocacy work so that the public knows about these issues. They are able to reach a wider audience.”

Journalists are “also in a better place of highlighting stories of local people who are doing great things in these areas of agroecology, climate change and the environment,” he added.

The award ceremony has been slated for November 18. Ahead of the event, members of the fifth estate in Zambia will be expected to register and submit written, audio or film projects on topics about agroecology, climate change and the environment.

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Judges will then examine the projects that should be submitted by November 12 and announce the winners.

Victors of the award will walk away with trophies and all participants will have certificates. 

Addressing contestants of the award, the Caritas Zambia official encouraged the journalists to “read about agroecology, the environment and climate change, understand how these three fundamentals are interconnected and how they affect one another.” 

“Let us see how they can use their intelligence and skills to write good stories,” he said and expressed best wishes to the participants. 

After the awards, Mr. Kabilika expressed the hope that the sponsors of the November 18 event will continue partnering with the media to facilitate the bringing out of issue-based stories that foster climate change awareness.

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