The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in collaboration with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the Global Environmental Facility or (GEF) through the Cross-Cutting Capacity Development project (CCCD) end two days intensive training to capacitate journalists across the country to strengthen and institutionalize commitments under the Rio Conventions.
The three Rio Conventions on - Biodiversity, Climate Change and Desertification are derived directly from the 1992 Earth Summit. Each instrument represents a way of contributing to the sustainable development goals Agenda 21. The three conventions are operating in the same ecosystems and addressing interdependent issues.
The two-day workshop held in Ganta, Nimba County brought together local journalists from print and electronic media to broaden their knowledge on how to report on the Rio Convention.
It was held on the theme; "Consolidating Liberia Media Professionals with Rio Convention for Improved Reporting."
EPA Consultant and Assistant Professor at the University of Liberia, Mr. Jerome Nyekan, says the (CCCD) project is intended for Liberia to make better decisions in meeting and sustaining global environmental obligations.
However, he notes that such would require Liberia to have the capacity especially, media professionals to coordinate efforts, as well as best practices for integrating global environmental priorities into planning, decision-making and reporting processes.
"To this end, the objective of the project is to strengthen a targeted set of national capacities to deliver and sustain global environmental outcomes within the framework of sustainable development priorities", Mr. Nyekan explains.
He adds that the EPA believes the capacity building project would help Liberia achieve global environmental benefits at a lower transactional cost as well as being able to respond faster and more appropriately to conservational needs.
The project coordinator at the EPA, Mr. Aaron Wesseh notes, the CCCD training project aims to enhance skills of media practitioners across Montserrado and other counties.
"We are aware that some of you have gone thru these kinds of training, but this training is actually to improve your skills on environmental reporting, and the issues of Rio- Convention, not many of you guys have idea on what we call Rio Convention".
He emphasizes the EPA strongly believes that journalists are responsible to inform the public, and to do that they must be provided with the rightful information that the public needs.
He says if journalists failed to update the public with the rightful information then it becomes a problem not only for their profession, but the country at large because the public relies on those pieces of information, adding, "It is against this backdrop that the EPA in partnership with UNDP, and GEF thought it wise [and] organized these trainings."
Meanwhile, UNDP Representative Mr. Willie Davies, expresses delight over the conduct of the two days workshop, which he observes is intended to provide information across the country.
"As you have come, it's our hope that we focus on the various presentations so that our reporting on the Rio Convention can be a benefit to the Liberian people", he concludes. By Lewis S. Teh-Editing by Jonathan Browne