Developing a National Climate Change Communication Strategy for Sri Lanka

The Media Forum on Climate Change, which is an integrated part of the “Sri Lanka NEXT – a Blue Green Era” 2018 program, was held on the 19th of October at the Bandaranayaka Memorial International Conference Hall. The event was organised by the Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment, Climate Change Secretariat of Sri Lanka, UNDP Sri Lanka, and the Third National Communication Consortium Partners including Sri Lanka Press Institute, SLYCAN Trust, Janathakshan, and Integrated Development Association (IDEA).

Dr. Sunimal Jayathunga, Director of Climate Change Secretariat of the Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment addressing the audience

Journalists and other media personnel and stakeholders from different media channels and platforms attended the forum. The Media Forum on climate change was mainly designed to engage media and communicators to create awareness on climate change impacts on Sri Lanka and to gain input for the finalizing of the Communication Strategy on Climate Change of Sri Lanka. The forum was also designed to engage media in climate action and to allow networking with academia and practitioners to gain insights into climate change impacts and to share actions taken to address them in Sri Lanka.

The Media Forum consisted of a panel discussion on climate change communication, and the importance of climate awareness. The panellists included, Dr. Sewwandi Jayakody, consultant for the Environmentally Sensitive Areas Project; Ms. Kusum Athukorala, chair of NetWater and the Sri Lanka Water Partnership; Mr. Malaka Rodrigo, senior journalist from The Sunday Times; and Mr. Arun Arokianathan, Consultant Editor of Athavan TV. The Panel was Moderated by Mr. Shan Wijethunga, the Principal of the Sri Lanka College of Journalism.

 

Panel discussion at the Media Forum

Further, the event focused on creating awareness among media personnel and communicators on climate change impacts on Sri Lanka; gaining input for the finalizing of the Communication Strategy on Climate Change of Sri Lanka; engaging media in climate action, and networking with academia and practitioners to gain insights into climate change impacts; creating awareness among media personnel and communicators on climate change impacts on Sri Lanka; gaining input for the finalizing of the Communication Strategy on Climate Change of Sri Lanka; engaging media in climate action, and networking with academia and practitioners to gain insights into climate change impacts,  and actions taken to address them in Sri Lanka.

Participants of the Media Forum

The Media forum on Climate Change ended with a mutual discussion among the participants and the experts on the way forward for effective communication and awareness creation on climate change. A follow up event will be organised in the coming weeks for further discussing and improving the draft National Climate Change Communication Strategy for Sri Lanka.

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