Sustainable Development

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6th Asia-Europe Journalists' Seminar

Project Period: Contact: Department: Programme: Theme:
04 Jun 11 - 06 Jun 11 Asia-Europe Foundation Communications Department Asia-Europe Journalists' Seminar Sustainable Development



Venue:
Budapest (Hungary)

OVERVIEW

There were significantly diverging notions of impact, responsibilities, and historical contexts that underpinned the climate change debate between Europe and Asia in the lead-up to the 15th Conference of the Parties (or COP 15) in Copenhagen. However, some of these differences appear to have been bridged.The successful conclusion of COP16 held in December 2010 in Cancún gives hope for an eventual co-ordinated global response to effectively manage climate change. ?

For the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change negotiations to be successful, countries must take on a more committed approach in adapting to climate change.In particular, Europe needs to focus on mitigating emissions while Asia needs to focus on adapting to the impact of those emissions. In this respect, the media can play an important role in driving awareness of the key issues, which have been stumbling blocks for reaching a final agreement in an internationally binding accord.

THE ISSUE

- Climate change negotiations: How can the media play a role in sustaining the momentum from Cancún?

Partners

  • Regional Environmental Center

Sponsors

  • China Daily
ASEF's contribution is with the financial support of the European Commission.

Project Updates

  • Overcoming climate gloom and doom

    Published on 31 Aug 2011

    If Martin Luther King had said, “I have a nightmare,” instead of “I have a dream,” how much change would he have inspired?

    Using this historical anecdote, Jonathan Glennie, who blogs regularly for The Guardian, drew comparisons with how climate science writers today are faced with a similar challenge.  Climate change stories in the media tended to focus on too much gloom and doom, he told 30 journalists from leading Asian and European media organisations.

    According to Per Meilstrup, Climate Director of top Scandinavian think-tank Monday Morning, the media has a responsibility in society like any other stakeholder.  He noted that focussing on opportunities and solutions from the climate debate is not anti-journalistic, and that the media, having the ability to promote change, has the obligation to do so.

    The journalists, who came from 24 countries in Asia and Europe, were participants of the 6th Asia-Europe Journalists' Seminar held in Szentendre, Hungary (4-6 June 2011).  They gathered at the Regional Environmental Center (REC) to discuss climate change issues, and to study how the media can communicate such issues better and engage the public at closer quarters.

    One of the take-aways from the seminar was the understanding that journalists should aim to balance stories about the negative impacts and consequences of climate change. They can explore presenting solutions and positive opportunities provided by this challenge. This was among one of 10 suggestions made by the journalists at the conclusion of the seminar, with the aim to improve the communication of climate change issues.

    The Seminar was held in conjunction with the 10th ASEM Foreign Ministers' (FMM) Meeting in Godollo, Hungary (6-7 June 2011), which focused on non-traditional security challenges, among which climate change ranks as an important global concern.

  • Some participants of the 6th Asia-Europe Journalists' Seminar (4-6 June 2011, Hungary) share their thoughts on the Seminar's theme, "Climate Change Negotiations: Can the Media Play a Role in Sustaining the Momentum from Cancún?" through their respective media organisations. Below are some highlights of the media coverage about the Seminar:

    Keep climate change in the news
    by Jessica Cheam
    The Sunday Times (Singapore)
    12 June 2011

    Maintaining momentum in the climate change debate
    by Nick Malkoutzis
    Inside Greece
    7 June 2011

    Asian, European journalists convene in Hungary
    by Nathan Johnson
    Green Horizon (Hungary)
    7 June 2011

    Getting the message across
    by Per Meilstrup
    Green Growth Leaders (Denmark)
    6 June 2011

  • Climate change is an international threat that has no geographical boundaries. ASEF brought together some 30 participants representing key media organisations in Asia and Europe for the 6th Asia-Europe Journalists’ Seminar, 4-6 June 2011, Hungary. They discussed how the media can play a more effective role in increasing public awareness to collectively address the long-term challenge of climate change and the need to take concrete action now to speed up the global response to this challenge.

    The seminar was held in conjunction with the 10th ASEM Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (6-7 June 2011) held in Gödöllő, Hungary, which focussed on non-traditional security issues, including threats arising from climate change.

    View the project page...

  • Climate Change and the media

    Published on 16 Aug 2011

    Highlights:

    • Journalists' Seminar to discuss impact, responsibilities and the historical context underpinning climate change debate between Asia and Europe
    • Organised by ASEF, in partnership with Regional Environment Centre (Hungary) and China Daily
    • Seminar to gather some 20 journalists, academics, and experts from the field of climate change

    Pakistan experienced devastating floods in July 2010 plunging over one-fifth of the country under water, according to the Pakistani National Disaster Management Authority. The floods were largely blamed on climate change.

    Several extensive floods that occurred last year were linked to climate change. Besides Pakistan and China, Australia also experienced severe flooding. Russia experienced forest fires brought about by extremely high temperatures. While parts of Europe experienced severely low temperatures during winter.

    Whither climate change negotiations?

    In Cancún and earlier in Copenhagen, it was obvious that there was still a long way to go for countries to reach a common agreement on the way forward for planet earth.  There are significant divergent notions of impact, responsibilities and historical contexts that underpin the climate change debate. The clock is ticking as the Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012.

    The Asia-Europe Foundation, in partnership with the Regional Environmental Centre in Hungary and the Beijing based China Daily newspaper, is organising the 6th Asia-Europe Journalists’ Seminar  “Climate Change Negotiations: Can the media play a role in sustaining the momentum from Cancún.”  This event (4-6 June) in Budapest will gather some 20 journalists, academics, and experts from the field of climate change. They will exchange perspectives on the impact, responsibilities and the historical context underpinning climate change debate between Asia and Europe.