"Russian Regional Environmental Centre can play an important role in raising attention towards environmental issues and strengthening environmental civil society"

Margot Wallstrцm, EU Commissioner on environment in 1999-2004

How Climate Change Affects Mountain Regions. Media-training

The Russian Regional Environmental Centre (RREC) has issued a booklet dedicated to its project “Media-training for Journalists on Climate Change Challenge in Mountain Regions”, which was being conducted with the financial support of the British Embassy in Moscow. The booklet covers step-by-step implementation of the project for its possible replication.

The project objective was to improve professional skills of the Russian journalists in covering climate change issue. Lots of aspects of this global challenge are regrettably insufficiently covered in the Russian mass-media, while information is often slanted or presented as myths, which are hard to dispell.

The training for 12 journalists from different regions of Russia was being conducted in the Republic of Kabardino-Balkaria, Elbrus Region, in July-August 2007. The venue for the training was selected first of all due to the fact that the effect of climate change is especially noticeable in mountain regions, because the nature and the communities in those areas are more vulnerable as compared with the ecosocial communities of the plains. Second, the Elbrus Mountain is the highest mountain of Europe and Russia, thus the Elbrus region could have been both interesting and indicative not only for Russia, but also for all European countries. Third, the town of Azau near the Elbrus mountain accommodates the Training and Research Station named after G.K. Tushinsky of the Faculty of Geography of the Moscow State University and the specialists working there are able to provide interesting information about climate change impacts on the mountainous territories on the basis of the results of their research work.

The leading Russian scientists-glaciologists of the Moscow State University, experts on climate change, and representatives of local administration and business of the affected mountain areas were invited to take part in the training in order to provide useful information for the participating journalists at first hand. A field-trip to local village was also organized for the participants to get them familiar with the style of life of the local community, their traditions and customs, main types of economic activities from the viewpoint of the effects of climate change. In the course of the field-trip the trainees had an opportunity to make photos and interview the local dwellers.

The trainers were internationally known journalists, namely the science editor of “The Independent” and editor-in-chief of the “Green Horizon” magazine (European environmental magazine, Hungary).
The second objective of the project was to attract attention of all the stakeholders to the climate change challenge, including representatives of federal, regional and local authorities, business community, non-governmental organizations and the general public. The training was being shot by the local TV companies, while the participants themselves should have published at least two media-materials on the basis of information received at the training. After the training there was held an all-Russian contest for journalists “Climate Change: a Hot Topic” on the best media story.
The media-training project showed that due to high expertise of the involved trainers and experts and successful choice of the venue, participating journalists from all parts of Russia were able then to qualifiedly inform the general public in their regions on climate change issue. This therefore should help local administration, business and all the stakeholders to take appropriate actions aimed at climate change mitigation and turn themselves towards development of climate-friendly and energy efficient technologies.

The training was being held in a friendly atmosphere and both in formal and informal manner, which can be seen in the booklet.

rrec_media_training.pdf (1.82 MB)
cover.pdf (363.03 KB)
rrec_media_training.pdf1.82 MB
cover.pdf363.03 KB