Malawi News Agency (Lilongwe)

1 June 2014

Malawi: Osisa Urges African Journalists to Raise Awareness On Land Management

Nairobi — Open Society Initiative for Southern African (OSISA) Saturday urged African journalists to investigate and write good news articles on sustainable land management.

OSISA said writing good investigative stories on sustainable land management was one way of bringing awareness on land degradation affecting African economies.

The call was made at the Sarova Hotel in the Kenyan capital Nairobi where a group of journalists from 14 African countries are attending a three-day workshop on sustainable land management.

Willis Ombai, OSISA CommunicationsOfficer, said his organisation saw a gap in journalists' reporting on issues affecting land resource management, hence the training to equip them with various skills.

"We have organised this training workshop to enhance skills for investigative journalism in sustainable land management and build a pool of international journalists to report on the same," Ombai said.

Environment Secretary in the Kenyan Ministry of Environment, Water and Natural Resources Dr. Alice Kaudia applauded OSISA for the training workshop, saying it would help raise awareness on sustainable land management.

She said she believed that the skills journalists would gain from the training would help their countries in raising awareness and sustain their economies.

"Achieving sustainable development requires informed, responsive and dynamic media to provide necessary oversight and inform the public about critical issues. I believe you will do a good job after this training," Kaudia said.

She said land degradation was a major problem in Africa which needed combined effort to eradicate it as annually, the continent loses more than US$9 billion due to poor land management.

The journalists will be taught on their role in sustainable land management, innovative journalistic practices of bringing sustainable land management into the centre of public agenda and economics of land degradation, among others.

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