In continuation of the engagement of journalists on environmental reporting, the Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN) organised the fifth in its series of training for journalists on environmental reporting funded by VIKES the Finnish Foundation on Media Communication and Development.

The event which held 21-24 June 2011 at the Royal Tropicana Hotel, Kano, drew attendance of 13 journalists from both electronic and print organisations in Kano and Kaduna States and was facilitated by a team of renowned journalists and environmentalists who discussed issues like Persisting Environmental Challenges, Environmental News Reporting, Gender and the Environment, and Environmental Laws in Nigeria.

ERA/FoEN started the training in 2009 with as a strategy of building the capacity of journalist to identify local environmental issues and to be exposed to similar concerns at the global level.

Resource persons at the Kano training included: Tunde Akanni, a journalist and lecturer at the Lagos State University (LASU), Kagu Abba and Yagana Bukar, both lecturers at University of Maiduguri (UNIMAID) and Nurudeen Ogabara, the executive director of Citizen Center Lagos.



In his opening speech, ERA/FoEN Director, Corporate Accountability and Administration, Akinbode Oluwafemi explained that that the environmental challenges that Nigerians have to contend with are enormous, noting, that the problems cut across the two major divides in Nigeria: the north and south.
Oluwafemi expressed optimism that the media training on environment in Kano will put the issues discussed on the front burner of national discuss

ERA/FoEN Executive Director, Nnimmo Bassey spoke on Persisting Environmental Challenges, a topic which elicited so much interest as it dwelt on environmental issues across Nigeria, including gas flaring in Southern Nigeria, and desertification in northern Nigeria.

Bassey also identified dwindling Lake Chad as a major challenge that must be addressed to forestall a looming human disaster that threatens an estimated 35 million dependants of the lake.

He concluded his presentation with a suggestion on what must be done to get Nigeria on track environmental-wise. They include: declaration of a national environmental emergency; Conducting a national environmental audit and management plan; detoxification of the Nigerian environment and strict monitoring of ecological funds for remediating or restoring damaged environment

The media participants agreed to become members of the Journalist Network on the Environment which ERA/FoEN Head of Media, Philip Jakpor introduced to them as a platform for synergy in engaging critical stakeholders on the environment in order to bring about policy responses on issues of national concern.

Adeola Ajakaiye of BusinessDay Newspaper Kano was elected as coordinator of the network in the region, while Baba Negedu of Daily Independent Kaduna was elected co-cordinator.

The training which holds bi-annually, is a forum for sharing knowledge about local, national and global environmental issues; Examination of challenges facing environmental reporting and exploration of strategies for improving environmental reporting.

Trainings have held in Lagos, Port Harcourt, Warri and Abuja



 



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ERA has recently received information that a group calling itself the "Niger Delta Coalition in the Diaspora" is still engaging itself in activities and communications giving the impression that it is linked with Environmental Rights Action (ERA).

This group issues out communications using ERA's headquarter address and mail box. We have never had any ties with this group and any views, comments or opinions expressed by them is not endorsed or authorized by any member of management or staff of ERA.

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