The secretariat of the newly launched Pacific Environment Journalists’ Network will be based in Tonga.
The announcement was made in Nuku’alofa during the recent Pacific Islands News Association Pacific Media Summit.
Tonga-based media consultant and Former Fiji journalist Iliesa Tora was elected PEJN president.
The Pacific Environment Journalist Network was formed in Bonn last year by a group of Pacific journalists who covered the COP23 environmental conference in Bonn last year.
The UN Climate Change secretariat described the formation of the network as an achievement. The journalists attended the conference as guests of the secretariat, the German Federal government and the Deutsche Welle Akademie.
Membership will be open to journalists from across the region.The network has been established to help the work of journalists reporting on environment issues.
The Pacific Islands will face the worst effects of global warming, with sea rises threatening many countries.
However, many journalists and academics are worried about the amount of local coverage of the issue.
They are also worried that in some countries the message about global warming and other environmental problems have still not reached ordinary people.
PINA’s outgoing president, Moses Steven, said Pacific journalists should be telling their own stories instead of media from outside the region.
He said network should work with national media organisations to develop and grow reporting on environment issues because we have to take ownership of our stories.
Earth Journalism Network’s Imelda Abano said, it was important to improve the quality and quantity of environment reporting in the Pacific.
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