Media essential agents to safeguard climate change challenges


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Writes Elvis Dumba
Kariba – The Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) has described journalists as an essential ingredient in contributing towards solutions for environmental challenges being encountered in the face of climate change.
Assistant Commissioner Nyazema,  Police Officer Commanding Mashonaland West Province said this in a speech read on his behalf at the belated World Press Freedom Day in Kariba recently.
The event which was hosted by the Media Institute of Southern Africa (Misa-Zimbabwe) Chinhoyi chapter, with support from the Environmental Management Agency, saw public, private, and freelance media practitioners coming face to face with the effects of climate change.
“The police challenge the media to use the power of the pen to denounce all criminal acts such as poaching of flora and fauna that does not only threaten the tourism industry but also business opportunities for this province and future generations. We need your support to amplify such issues on your various media platforms,” he said.
Assistant Commissioner Nyazema said the police are concerned with veld fires that destroy property and sometimes lead to loss of lives and urged journalists to help end the menace.
The media practitioners interacted with Kapenta Fishermen who have been affected by climate change-induced droughts that have seen water levels dropping drastically on Kariba Dam, affecting kapenta catches.
Conrad Mupesa, (MISA-Zimbabwe) Chinhoyi Chapter Advocacy Chairperson said the media has a crucial role to play in bringing attention to the urgent need for action to address the environmental crisis.
“It is through the coverage and investigations of climate and environmental challenges that will help to address and raise awareness on deforestation, pollution, and loss of biodiversity threats.
“Through positioning the media to amplify the environment stories, we can foster a greater sense of urgency and mobilize action towards a sustainable future,” he said.
During the tour, the media practitioners came face to face with the effects of climate change as the fishermen narrated how declining water levels on Kariba Dam are contributing towards conflicts over fishing territories.