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central-01  UNEP ON THE GROUND
Central Asian media gather in Geneva for a 2-day Master Class

On 15 December, 12 journalists from Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan embarked on a long journey to reach Geneva and its Palais des Nations where UNEP senior officials and experts welcomed them, eager to brief Central Asian media on key environmental topics.


During two days, the journalists were given presentations by John Scanlon, Secretary General of CITES, Rolph Payet, Executive Secretary of the Chemicals Conventions, Sylvie Motard, Deputy Director of UNEP’s Regional Office for Europe, Ben Simmons, Coordinator of the Green Growth Knowledge Platform and many others. They also had the opportunity to ask questions and exchange views with the presenters. Excellent UNEP experts briefed the participants on the work we do in post conflict and post disasters situations and the role we play to improve the environment of the Caspian Sea; the very recent treaty on Mercury was another flagship discussed with the group.


On the second day, British journalist Richard Black - who worked for 10 years at the BBC as an environmental reporter - trained the participants on how to best report environmental stories. Everyone shared the difficulties of telling their compatriots about environmental threats or the not-so-easy task of convincing their editors.


Richard Black shared his wonderful experience with the journalists from Central Asia. They debated with passion about what makes a great green story...”What is key", concluded Mr Black, “is to connect the dots between global and local issues. Find a local story about how mercury has affected people in your community”, he said, “and then explain why the new treaty may help…”. The 12 journalists went back home with a slightly bigger knowledge of the state of our planet that we hope will be useful to them, daily.


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