UNESCO and High Commission of Canada in Pakistan Launch Cohort4ClimateConversations

March 30, 2021 - Islamabad

UNESCO Islamabad in collaboration with the High Commission of Canada in Pakistan, concluded a series of sensitization and information sharing sessions to strengthen climate change reporting. These sessions culminated in the formulation of a Cohort4ClimateConversations forum, with the aim to strengthen climate change reporting in mainstream and digital media in Pakistan. Throughout the country, some 60 online content creators, photojournalists, podcasters, etc., participated, creating linkages and a network to increase credible information on climate across Pakistan.

The sessions aimed to equip participants with climate change resources to empower and increase the knowledge pool on local climate change issues, and to strengthen the capacity of journalists and online content creators to report on climate change issues throughout Pakistan. Special Advisor to the Prime Minister on Climate Change, Malik Amin Aslam, congratulated the participants for their work in promoting climate change awareness, and underlined the Government of Pakistan’s commitment to addressing environmental issues, including through nature based solutions like reforestation.

The High Commissioner to Canada, Wendy Gilmour, encouraged the participants to use both traditional and social media as important channels for accurate information to effect positive change. “The creation of a Cohort4ClimateConversations is an important step to inform communities across Pakistan of the impacts of climate change, and provide credible information to promote mitigation activities”.

Country Representative and Director, UNESCO, Ms. Patricia McPhillips, emphasized on media’s role in highlighting direct impact of climate change on human lives. “Climate change has far reaching consequences on social and cultural aspects of our lives too which are already evident in form of climate induced migration, urban sprawl among other issues. Women and other marginalized groups in particular bear the brunt of scarcity of resources and environmental degradation.”  

Leading organizations working on climate change, such as International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Pakistan, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Pakistan, Global Change Impact Studies Centre (GCISC), Karachi Urban Lab (KUL) of IBA at Karachi University and Hisaar Foundation connected with the participants and offered full support to the “Cohort4ClimateConversations.”

Afia Salam, leading media development specialist in climate change, facilitated the sessions and developed an extensive information resource pack for journalists and online content creators supporting climate reporting.