ZIMBABWEAN media has been challenged to report accurately and consistently on climate change in order to necessitate the collective proffering of solutions to correct its environmental effects.
BY TINOTENDA MUNYUKWI
Addressing journalists in the capital last week, climate expert Alois Tsiga blamed the media for slowing down efforts to combat effects of climate change.
“The problem of wrong perception is that you are spreading ignorance among a population and that is a problem. The important thing about the knowledge is that currently, the world over, the issues about ozone depletion and global warming are very topical and critical because it is to do with our survival on earth,” he said.
Although Zimbabwe adheres to the Montreal Protocol of 1987, which banned the use of ozone depleting substances (ODSs) such as refrigerants, it is yet to ratify the Kigali amendment of October 2016, which is calling on countries to ban the use of greenhouse gases (GHGs) as alternatives to ODSs.
Tsiga said if journalists were equipped with the accurate knowledge, they could play a central role in lobbying government to expedite efforts of ratifying the Kigali amendment and totally eliminating greenhouse gases, which are contributing to the increase in average global temperatures.
“The role of journalists cannot be overemphasised because this is the group that is the most critical in terms of dissemination of information. When people are empowered with knowledge, it will help us solve the problem which we have through action,” he said.
Environment ministry director of climate change management, Washington Zhakata, appealed to journalists to develop a passion for the least pursued environmental journalism and help combat ozone depletion and climate change.
“It is, therefore, important that as the media, you are equipped with the correct information on these things so that you properly inform the public. Therefore, I urge you to develop a passion for environmental journalism,” he said.