Friday, June 24, 2011

African Environmental Journalists Form new federation

The African Federation of Environmental Journalists (AFEJ) comes after online consultations among the African environmental journalists particularly for those who are the members of the International Federation of Environmental Journalists (IFEJ). It aims to unite African affiliates of the International Federation of Environmental Journalists to better meet challenges faced by the people of Africa across the continent.

The prominent Liberian journalist, Jacob Eagan Bright, 43 was elected the chairperson of the federation and other directors are vice chairperson Ama Kudom-Agyemang from Ghana and coordinator of west Africa region, Dalia Abdel-Salam from Egypt coordinator of North Africa, Alain Gashaka from Burundi coordinator of East and Central africa region,Daud Abdi Daud from Somalia Secretary General and George Kebaso from Kenya communications officer. And they discussed deeply how it could do to help them cover environmental issues.

The new federation will spearhead a move seeking to expand and improve the media coverage of the key continental issues, including climate change, the environment, human rights, migration, peace-keeping and security, public health, trade, corporate social responsibility. And its main office will be Liberia but will have also three branches one in East and central Africa, the second one in Southern Africa and the third one in North Africa.

Environmental problems constitute one of the key challenges on the African continent in the 21st century.

Focus is gradually shifting from politics, wars, and poverty to environmental issues. This is mainly the result of the development of new technologies, which has generated an increase in solid mineral mining, oil exploration, an increase in the number of plants and factories, and the overall upsurge in the application of manufacturing tools.

The quality and richness of terrestrial, freshwater, and marine environments have been polluted and subsequently declined.

It is therefore safe to say that new developments in industry and manufacturing are the root causes of environmental degradation over the past three decades.

This has been exacerbated by rapid population growth, urbanization, energy consumption, overgrazing, over-cultivation of lands, and industrial advancements engendered by globalization.

Environmental problems in Africa are therefore partly anthropogenic or human-induced though not necessarily by Africans), which is the result of the effect of chemical and human waste on all forms of ecological and human life. But natural causes cannot be overlooked and consist

* Earthquakes (the Great Rift Valley is geologically active and particularly susceptible to this phenomenon)

* Hot springs and active volcanoes are also found to the extreme east of the Rift Valley

* Erosion

* Deforestation

* Desertification

* Drought

* Water shortages resulting from the dry season.

The African Federation of Environmental Journalists (AFEJ) as continental group of the IFEJ has been formed; as a continental group for journalists and media workers in Africa AFEJ shall be involved in trade union development and journalists' welfare and ethical journalism in the media industry in Africa.

For more information contact;
George Kebaso,
AFEJ,communications officer.
Mobile: +254 721 774 198

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