Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Climate change information for the poor

IRIN: Under-resourced media are failing rural people in developing countries, who are most vulnerable to climate change and in greater need of information to protect themselves from more intense cyclones and longer droughts, according to a new study.

"Journalists need resources and support from their editors to access rural areas to find out how people ... are coping and adapting to climate change - these stories might be relevant to people living in another part of the world," said Mike Shanahan, press officer for the London-based International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), who contributed to the study, Climate Change and the Media.

"The general picture painted by the most recent research is that while coverage of climate change in non-industrialized countries is increasing, the quantity and quality of reporting do not match the scale of the problem," he wrote. There was a reliance on Western news agencies rather than locally relevant news, although Indian newspapers were an exception.

"This, coupled with sparse coverage of adaptation, has implications for the world's poor, who urgently need information to prepare for the impacts of climate change." According to the World Bank, three out of four poor people in developing countries live in rural areas....

Inside Dharavi (in Mumbai), Asia's largest slum of over one million dwellers. Shot by the NGO medapt, Wikimedia Commons via Flickr, under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 License

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