Brainstorming with the media on climate change in Vietnam
Scientists and journalists in Vietnam talk about climate change
Connecting media, policy makers and farmers
A “story ideas” marketplace, which aimed to match messages presented by research panellists and story ideas for journalists to pitch to their editors, resulted in an interesting discussion about how to reach farmers with messages about climate change, such as highlighting real-life stories of affected farmers.
Discussions also touched on the difficulty of reporting climate change – some weather events cannot be directly related to climate change, for example. In those cases, experts can provide science-backed explanations.
A field trip to the Northern Mountainous Agriculture and Forestry Institute included a visit to tea research areas, livestock and crop system plots and soil fertility trials, to highlight adaptation measures currently being trailed in Vietnam. For example, tea cultivation on sloping land to protect the soil from rainfall run-off.
Highlighting agriculture in the climate change agenda
“This workshop is a very important first step as we engage policy makers and stakeholders to include agriculture in the climate change agenda through the help of the media,” said Leo Sebastian, CCAFS Regional Program Leader for Southeast Asia.
“We often see climate change mitigation and adaptation plans being unveiled with no or very little mention of agriculture,” he added. “We also hear good pronouncements of improving adaptation and resilience of our farmers to climate change, but actions to be pursued aren’t clear,” he said.
Working together with the media is therefore key to influence an enabling environment for climate change mitigation and adaptation measures, he noted.
During the seminar, journalists published a wide range of reports covering climate-smart agricultural models, highlighting topics including the benefits of intercropping on sloping land and new salt tolerant rice varieties.
Building long-term collaboration with the media was discussed, including media campaigns to highlight climate change among different target audiences.
Nguyen Duong, country coordinator for Redraw the Line Vietnam, said: “The media workshop offered journalists from all over the country a unique chance to discuss and interact with leading scientists in the field of agriculture, food security and climate change in Vietnam.”
“We expect to establish a stronger network between journalists themselves, between journalists and scientists; and between journalists and project officers from partnering institutions.”
The workshop was organized by Redraw the Line – Media Alliance and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in Vietnam, in collaboration with CCAFS, and other CGIAR Centers including CIAT, IRRI, CIFOR, ICRAF, ILRI and WorldFish.
Media coverage of the seminar and climate related issues:
Vietnam TV: Communicating climate change in Vietnam
News Source: CIAT website
Georgina Smith is the Communication Specialist of CIAT based in Hanoi, Vietnam.