Bonde, ministry to launch journalism awards

National tree ambassador, Never Bonde, in collaboration with the Environment, Water and Climate ministry will next month launch the Mining with Environment in Mind and Environment Journalism awards.

BY SILAS NKALA

Bonde revealed this at a Press conference in Bulawayo on Wednesday, saying the awards will have a special focus on climate change for both print and electronic media journalists.

“We need to launch what we call Mining with Environment in Mind and Environment Journalism Awards with special focus on climate change,” he said.

Bonde, who derived the idea from Kenya, said the awards will encourage the media to foster aspects of environmental protection and encourage tree planting by promoting reportage on tree planting and environmental protection.

“The annual environment journalism awards, with special focus on climate change, will each year reward four journalists from both print and electronic media, who would have excelled in covering environmental protection and climate change issues.”

Bonde said the awards will be launched on February 15 at Osborne Dam in Manicaland. Journalists from Kenya, Zambia, Botswana and South Africa will attend the launch where Environment minister Oppah Muchinguri will be guest of honour. He said sponsors from South Africa and Kenya and journalists from Kenya will attend the final event which will be conducted in Victoria Falls in December.

He said they are targeting to raise $10 000 for the awards and so far they have sourced $5 000.

Bonde said adjudicators will comprise retired journalists, retired judges and retired environmentalists and those in the rural communities.

Bonde was appointed tree ambassador by Muchinguri in 2015 due to his passion for growing trees and protecting the environment.

He moved around the country teaching people how to grow indigenous trees and conserve the environment.

He is also chairman of Isandla Esihle/ Ruoko Rwakanaka, an organisation that encourages communities to take care for vulnerable groups such as those with congenital defects and other rare diseases. He said, among other responsibilities, the organisation is into environmental protection.

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