Govt establishing online database to facilitate investigative reporting on climate change, event told

By Our Correspondent
February 25, 2024

In the dynamic realm of environmental journalism in Pakistan, the imperative for impactful reporting on climate change stands as a paramount necessity.


The Global Neighbourhood Media Innovation (GNMI), non-profit organisation engaged in advocating for climate change awareness and action, held a climate advocacy meeting last week with stakeholders, including representatives from government agencies, academia, civil society organisations, climate activists, and media outlets, to deliberate on environmental journalism in Pakistan.

The image released on Feb 15, 2024 shows a climate change discussion organised byGlobal Neighbourhood Media Innovation (GNMI). — Facebook/gnmionline

In Pakistan, environmental journalism has often encountered obstacles in effectively conveying the urgency of environmental issues to the public. Challenges such as dearth of expertise, limited resources and insufficient emphasis on environmental reporting have impeded the dissemination of crucial information.

Traditional media outlets prioritise economic and political news, relegating environmental concerns to the periphery. Consequently, the public remains largely uninformed about environmental challenges and potential mitigation strategies.

Speakers from the provincial government, such as Chief Conservator of the Sindh Forest Department Raiz Wagan, highlighted at the event the significance of rigorous fact-checking and topic research to combat misinformation regarding climate issues.

Provincial forest officer Shahzad Sadiq emphasised the significance of data-driven and investigative reporting.

Waqar Hussain Phulpoto from the Sindh Environmental Protection Agency stressed the imperative of publishing stories that have the potential to influence officials and prompt them to act.

He urged media professionals to shine spotlight on the environmental and biodiversity challenges faced by rural areas that are often overlooked.

Collectively, officials assured that the government is actively working to establish an online database to facilitate investigative reporting on climate change.

Media professionals such as Amber Rahim Shamsi, Hunain Ameen, Gibran Ashraf, Shabbir Mir and Farahnaz Zahidi provided invaluable insights and recommendations to align environmental reporting in Pakistan with international best practices. They emphasised the need for fact-checking, investigative reporting, and solution-based journalism by highlighting the critical role of media in promoting informed discourse and catalysing positive change.