Three hundred African female journalists attending the 3rd edition of “Les Panafricaines” forum in Casablanca, Morocco have been advised to intensify their role in educating the citizenry on Climate adaptation measures.
The journalists from 54 Africa countries, were also reminded of their critical role in helping raise awareness on the best practices of climate actions that countries could adopt in helping mitigate the impacts of the phenomenon.
Also known as the African Women Journalists Forum, the two-day event is on the theme: “Climate Emergency: African Media, Agents of Change”.
The events is being hosted by Les Panafricaines, a Moroccan based organisation, and the Moroccan Government in collaboration with 2M, a public multimedia company in Morocco, that initiated the Forum in 2017.
Organisers of the event have identified the media as an important source of information that could empower the people and push them to make positive changes. The media could also inform the vulnerable communities about the impacts and how to adopt to climate change.
“Quality media coverage on climate change issues can lead not only to better informing the public, but also to better inform decision-makers in developing more effective polices.”
Speaking at the opening of the forum, Ms Fathia El Aouni, President of the Pan-African Committee, Les Panafricaines, said the theme of the forum was on climate issues, which were critical to the survival of humans, plants and animal species, especially for the African people, who were the most being affected by its impacts.
She said through such fora, the momentum was being created among the female journalists on the continent to help in mobilising all the needed resources that would aid in advocacy, and awareness creation among the people.
She said the earth, water, forest, and other natural resources that supported the existence of people were all being threatened due to climate change.
Ms El Aouni said there was currently a looming water scarcity, which when not addressed, would force between, 21 to 24 million people to migrate yearly.
African countries, she said, should link up in south-south cooperation, which was being pursued by the Moroccan Kingdom, so they could learn from the best experiences and practices on how to protect and adapt to climate impacts.
Mr Mohamed Benyahia, Secretary General of the Environment Department, Ministry of Energy, Mines and Sustainable Development, Morocco, welcomed all the journalists to the country and assured them of the Kingdom’s support and dedication towards the unity of Africa.
He said the leadership of Morocco had partnered 2M, to organise the Panafrican fora toward the empowerment of women journalists in the addressing issues affecting the continent.
He said Africa contribute only four per cent of global greenhouse emissions but is the most impacted continent of the negatives of climate change.
“You, women journalists can initiate the change and become the change agents,” he told the journalists, and urged them to continue with the debate in their respective countries until the right linkages and outputs were attained.