Paris Declaration on Broadcast Media and Climate Change

    | September 28, 2009

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    From September 4-5, 2009, broadcasters, scientific organizations, and climate-related agencies came together to examine the role and potential of broadcast media to raise public awareness on climate change, and the importance of strategic partnerships to achieve this goal. The conference produced the following declaration. It calls on the international community to support broadcasters to improve their capacity to produce relevant programs on climate change. It also calls upon broadcasting unions to encourage members to increase their commitments to climate change content.

    We, the participants of the UNESCO International Conference on Broadcast Media & Climate Change (Paris, 4th & 5th September 2009),

    Emphasizing that an increased public understanding of the urgency of climate change is essential to mitigate its negative impacts and to avert human suffering,

    Underlining that access to relevant information on climate change is vital to sustain a living planet and for the survival of human beings,

    Acknowledging that there are significant social, economic and environmental benefits in taking action to combat the effects of climate change,

    Recognizing that the information provided by broadcast media plays a critical role in stimulating policy debate and in mobilizing knowledge to empower societies to make informed decisions on options for mitigation and adaptation,

    Agreeing that dedicated collaboration among broadcast media to share and disseminate climate change information that incorporates both global and local perspectives would encourage individuals and policy-makers to undertake timely action,

    Welcoming UNESCO’s initiative to organize the first International Conference on Broadcast Media and Climate change,

    Invite the international community and relevant agencies and programmes of the United Nations, including the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to support all broadcasters, regional broadcasting unions and international broadcasting organizations in meeting the following objectives:

    – To strengthen regional and international collaboration of all broadcasting organizations and concerned professional organizations to optimize the quality and relevance of programming and reporting on climate change;
    – To encourage the production and dissemination of relevant audiovisual content at a local level to give voice to marginalized populations affected by climate change;
    – To collaborate in raising the skills of broadcast media professionals through training, the exchange of knowledge and best practices, and by facilitating access to relevant scientific information;
    – To promote opportunities for media professionals to build information-sharing networks;

    And invite the broadcasting unions and other international associations of broadcasters:
    – To encourage their members to make quantifiable commitments to increase the availability of content on climate change through the exchange of audiovisual material and the broadcast of programme items at local, national and international levels,
    – To request their members to dedicate the resources and broadcasting space needed to comprehensively report on the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference in December 2009 and on follow-up actions,
    – To develop and promote broadcasting industry standards in environmental management and to urge their members to set quantifiable targets for a reduction in their own carbon footprint.