Ghana: Journalists Receive Training in Environmental Reporting

More than 20 journalists from both print and the electronic media in the country have undergone an intensive training, to develop their skills in environmental reporting.

It was intended to abreast journalists of their advisory role to the government on issues relating to the environment as well as encourage the media to scale up reportage on the environment.

Held at the Institute of Environmental Studies (IES) at Amasaman in the Ga West Municipal Assembly, the event was the second phase of a three- day training on Responsive and Persuasive Environmental Reporting and its related activities.

Topics discussed were the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Acts, Environmental Quality Standards, Chemicals Management, Plastic Waste, Ozone, Climate Change, Petroleum, Natural Resources, Hazardous Waste and Sustainable Land and Water Management.

The Executive Director of EPA, Mr John Pwamang, asked journalists to be adequately equipped with information on the environment, to enable them to educate the public.

According to him, though environmental challenges have been identified as a major developmental concern in Ghana, media attention and reportage on such issues were minimal.

Mr Pwamang said there seemed to be a disconnection between scientists working on environmental issues and journalists, who have the responsibility of communicating those issues to the public.

"Some journalists have mentioned the reasons for not reporting on environment to include the lack of understanding of the concepts and terminologies used by scientists to discuss the issues, and the lack of training in skills to convert scientific information presented by environmental scientists and experts," he indicated.

Elaborating on the environmental quality standards in Ghana, the head of Environmental Quality Department of EPA, Mr Emmanuel Appoh, said the agency had designed new environmental quality standards in line with international protocols to ensure consumer safety and public health.

"We have come out with standards for ambient air quality and stationary emissions and also guidelines for measurement of noise," he said.

Mr Appoh also hinted that the EPA was developing regulations on motor vehicles emissions and ambient noise control to be presented to the Attorney General in order to draft a fresh bill for enactment.

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