Empowering Somali Journalists to Dive Deep into Climate Change and Environmental Journalism

In Mogadishu, Somalia, a man bravely rescues a boy from dangerous floodwaters after heavy rains on November 9, 2023. Farah Omar Nur, the secretary general of the Federation of Somali Journalists, mentions the difficulties faced by journalists reporting on climate change and environmental issues in the country, especially due to insecurity.

On World Press Freedom Day, Somali journalists grapple with covering environmental topics in their nation due to numerous challenges, including threats and safety concerns associated with environmental journalism.

This year, Somalia observes World Press Freedom Day amidst worsening El Nino conditions, leading to abnormally heavy rainfall in the south and central regions of the country.

Nur states that inadequate funding and training hinder journalists and news outlets in Somalia, making it challenging to report on environmental issues effectively.

Regarding reporting logistics, Nur discusses the obstacles journalists face in traveling to remote areas affected by flooding and environmental problems due to damaged infrastructure and the presence of armed groups like militia clans and al-Shabab.

The United Nations in Somalia recognizes the crucial role played by Somali journalists in reporting on climate issues in their country, highlighting the necessity for increased coverage.

U.N. Secretary-General’s special representative for Somalia, Catriona Laing, emphasizes the vital role of journalism in addressing environmental crises and achieving stability and sustainable development in Somalia.

World Press Freedom Day, established by the U.N. General Assembly in 1993, focuses on how journalism can combat the global environmental crisis under the theme “A Press for the Planet.”

UNESCO’s recently published report warns about growing violence against journalists reporting on the environment and climate change, urging better protection and support for these journalists and improved control of digital platforms.

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