#GenerationRestoration: Recognizing media on World Environment Day
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Colorful graphic with planet Earth on fire and factories with smokestacks and hands of different skin tones holding reporters' microphones

#GenerationRestoration: Recognizing media on World Environment Day

This year alone has seen devastating floods in Brazil, Indonesia, Kenya, Tanzania, China, Dubai, Oman, Bahrain, and Qatar. Wildfires broke out in western Canada and Texas. Cyclones swept islands and nations along the Indian Ocean.

News reports informed audiences that pets and livestock needed temporarily to be kept away from the UK river Alyn due to pollution so severe that fish had died. That recurring fires were threatening biodiversity of the Bangladeshi Sundarbans, the single largest mangrove forest in the world. That the wet season was finally bringing relief to pastures and cattle in the Australian Barkly region following devastating bushfires the previous year. That in California, historic rainfall and heavy snows had caused flooding and mudslides, while in Kenya, citizens’ anger and frustration had grown due to the havoc wreaked by catastrophic flooding and inadequate government response.

These stories are part of a larger one on the triple planetary crisis of our time — the crisis of pollution, of climate, and of biodiversity loss on a world scale.

According to the digital environmental news outlet Earth.org, the biggest environmental problems in 2024 include global warming from fossil fuels, poor governance, and food waste. The focus of the 2024 World Environment Day on June 5 on land restoration, desertification and drought resilience under the slogan “Our land. Our future. We are #GenerationRestoration.” seeks to underline that time cannot be reversed but there is an opportunity to “grow forests, revive water sources, and bring back soils […to] make peace with the land.”

Good environmental reporting has never been more critical. Natural and human-induced disasters are growing in frequency and severity. Accurate, timely, and comprehensive reporting is vital to build understanding and drive actions to prevent and mitigate further damage.

It is important in order to raise awareness, inform policy, educate the public on the science, highlight solutions, and build knowledge on the connection between the local and the macro, between seemingly isolated events and global climate change.

Yet, sources indicate that environmental journalism is second only to war reporting in terms of the risks faced by its journalists, both those who work for traditional media organisations and those who practise as citizen journalists mostly from Indigenous communities.

As we mark World Environment Day, let us recognize the role of the media and journalists. Let us commit to supporting and amplifying their work to help build a more resilient and sustainable world.

Image: Shutterstock AI

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