Wake people up on environment issues, journalists urged
PARAMARIBO, Suriname — Journalists from 11 Caribbean countries participating in a chemical waste management workshop here have this morning been urged to do more to educate the public on environmental matters in the region.
Officially declaring the forum open, acting general director of the National Institute for Environment and Development in Suriname Cedric Nelom told the group, which also included environmental experts and government officials, to "wake people up, empower them".
He said that while many media organisations do not have dedicated or sustained environment coverage, journalists, considered as the "fourth estate" have the wherewithal to influence governments and the wider society with a view to adopting and implementing sustainable environmental practices.
"This is not restricted to elected officials or government," he said. "It refers to us, the citizens of the region. We need all of us to be engaged and it's up to you journalists to inform.
Sustainable development will only come about by informing, empowering and shaking awake these major groups."
"Wake people up, empower. This is your role," he added, pointing out that though the region was among the countries with the least harmful emissions, the poverty in the Caribbean meant fighting global warming particularly challenging.
This morning's session is the part of the Second Caribbean Media Training Workshop, sponsored by the United Nations Environment Programme. The first was held in the Bahamas in November last year.