Issue Pack: Awareness of climate change

| June 27, 2016

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This week’s story from Malawi and our Q & A with Stephen Muchiri focus squarely on climate change. So it seems fitting that the Script of the week does too.

Climate change is often presented in the media as a horror story, a disaster waiting to happen. It’s true that most scientists agree that, even if the nations of the world manage to strongly cut emissions of greenhouse gases, the global climate is still going to change, in many ways for the worse. And small-scale African farmers are among those who will be most affected by these changes, both because they are dependent on the weather and because they often lack the resources to effectively adapt.

But African farmers have great strength and resilience. They are experienced at dealing with changes in the weather and have a rich heritage of methods to deal with these kinds of changes.

So African farmers can prepare for and adapt to the negative effects of climate change. But only if they understand it and know its impacts. While there is a great deal of information available on climate change, most is not aimed at a farming audience. When developing programs on climate change, radio broadcasters face the challenge of ensuring that their audience understands climate change messages, finds them relevant, and is encouraged to interact with the radio station and with their community to adapt to climate changes.

This Issue pack begins with two stories about farmers and climate change. It then offers some background information on the science of climate change, and talks about how radio can help strengthen farmers’ response to climate change. Next, it suggests some starting points for creating locally-relevant radio programs on adaptation to climate change. Finally, it points to various resources on climate change—radio programs, documents, and organizations.