24 May 2013, Boca Chica, Dominican Republic - The National Council for Climate Change and Clean Development Mechanism of the Dominican Republic (CNCCMDL) in collaboration with The Nature Conservancy (TNC), the Dominican College of Journalists (CDP) and the National Union of Press Workers (SNTP) organized a workshop for Dominican journalists on climate change. The workshop was organized within the framework of the National UNITAR/UN CC:Learn Project, which aims at strengthening human resources capacities to advance towards a green, low-emission and climate-resilient development.
The workshop brought together more than 30 journalists from different regions of the Dominican Republic and provided an opportunity for strengthening their knowledge and skills in adaptation and mitigation to climate change. The workshop was built upon a study on perceptions on climate change of the Dominican population as carried out in 2012. The study suggested that more than 90% of the population is concerned about climate change, however, less than half of the population seems to understand its causes. The study also indicated that 89% of the population which was surveyed had acquired some prior knowledge on climate change through information revealed by the mass media. This is a sector that the Dominican population believes to be an important source of information which they can confidently learn from.
In his opening remarks, Mr. Omar Ramirez, the Executive Vice President and Head of the CNCCMDL, pointed out that one of the priorities of the CNCCMDL is to train key stakeholders for addressing climate change. Mr. Ramirez stated that the UNITAR/UN CC:Learn project is currently supporting the training of teachers, and now is also supporting the training for journalists, because a part of the climate change solution is to strengthen the knowledge and competences of those who inform and educate the general public. As Mr. Ramirez suggested, for addressing the solution to the challenges imposed by climate change, it is also important to work with the multipliers of information and the generators of public opinion. In the Dominican society, journalists play an important role in knowledge-sharing on climate change and therefore it is important that such knowledge is translated in the most effective possible way.
The two-day workshop contributed to the implementation of the Dominican Republic Strategy to Strengthen Human Resources and Skills to Advance Green, Low Emissions and Climate Resilient, which identified working with journalists as one of its priority actions. Journalists who attended the workshop came from 21 different regions of the Dominican Republic, including: Montecristi, Puerto Plata, Santiago, Moca, San Francisco de Macoris, Cotuí, Nagua, Bonao, San Pedro de Macoris, Hato Mayor, El Seybo, La Romana, Higuey, San Cristobal, Bani, Azua, San Juan de la Maguana, Barahona, Neyba, Santo Domingo and the National District. As a follow-up to this successful workshop, the next proposed step is to extend the dialogue and knowledge shared at the workshop to other Dominican regions by starting with organising regional workshops for journalists.
About UN CC:Learn
UN CC:Learn is a partnership of 33 multilateral organizations which supports Member States in designing and implementing results-oriented and sustainable learning to address climate change. The Secretariat for UN CC:Learn is provided by UNITAR. An important aspect of UN CC:Learn is to support countries in developing a National Strategy to Strengthen Human Resources and Skills to Advance Green, Low Emission and Climate Resilient Development, through a multi-sectoral and multi-stakeholder process. During the course of 2012-2013, Benin, the Dominican Republic, Indonesia, Malawi, and Uganda are participating as UN CC:Learn pilot countries. Core funding for the 2011-2013 implementation phase of UN CC:Learn is provided by the Swiss Government.
Photo 1: Journalists at the Workshop on Climate Change in Boca Chica, Dominican Republic
Photo 2: Mr. Omar Ramirez, CNCCMDL