Wednesday, 14 October 2009

[creative-radio] International Green Pen Awards 2009: celebrating environmental journalism around


Colombo, Sri Lanka: 14 October 2009. American, Brazilian and Indian pioneers in promoting environmental journalism in the developing world have just been honoured with the International Green Pen Award 2009.

They are among the five latest winners announced by the Asia-Pacific Forum of Environmental Journalists(APFEJ) a non-profit media organisation headquartered in Colombo, Sri Lanka.The APFEJ is a network and regional association founded in 1988, dedicated to promoting education understanding and awareness of the environment through honest and accurate reporting of local, regional and
international environmental and development issues. It acts as the head of national environmental journalist forums(NFEJs) or media organisations of 42 countries in the Asia Pacific region.The APFEJ ad hoc committee was formed in 1985 at a regional conference on media and environment in New Delhi, organised by UN-ESCAP in collaboration with UNEP. Today, APFEJ is the world's oldest and largest organisation of professional environmental journalists, with networking contacts of over 12,000 members in nearly 154 countries around the world.

Prof Sharon M. Friedman of USA, Haroldo F Castro of Brazil and Carmen Miranda of India have been researching, training or otherwise supporting environmental journalists in the developing world for over a quarter of a century. The other two winners, Nanette Woonton of Cook Islands and Natallia Sliadneva of Belarus,have a distinguished record of being path-breaking environmental journalists in their own countries and regions.

International Green Pen Award is presented each year at the annual congress for journalists who have made a significant contribution in promoting environmental journalism.

Each winner receives a trophy and an award certificate

This year's awards will be presented during the 18th APFEJ World Congress of Environmental Journalists to be held in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on 19 � 21 October 2009. It is organised by the
Asia-Pacific Forum of Environmental Journalists (APFEJ) in partnership with the Commonwealth Environmental Journalists Association (CEJA), Sri Lanka Environmental Journalists Forum(SLEJF) and a number of other media and development organisations. Nearly 100 environmental journalists from 30 countries will participate in the congress on the theme 'Educate to end Climate Poverty'.

"The International Green Pen Awards honour those who have made great contributions to environmental media at the country and regional levels," says Dharman Wickremaratne, director of Asia-Pacific Forum of Environmental Journalists(APFEJ)."All our winners have dedicated their illustrious careers to journalism on behalf of the environment."

"I am delighted to receive this award," says Dr Sharon M. Friedman, Professor and Director of the Science and Environmental Writing Program in the Department of Journalism and Communication at Lehigh University, in Pennsylvania, USA. "Environmental journalism in Asia
has advanced in leaps and bounds since Kenneth Friedman and I first engaged the region in the 1980s."

Another winner, Haroldo Castro, said: "People will only support conservation if they first understand why we want to protect a particular area or species. This is why environmental communication � by journalists, film makers and educators � is tremendously important. I appreciate this award, recognising over three decades of my work around the world."

International Green Pen Award, established in 1998, recognizes leadership of individuals in the field of environmental journalism - people who help, inspire and support others in the field.

Nominees can be full-time or freelance journalists based anywhere in the world, and working in any form of print, broadcast or online media. They may be employed by media organisations, the United Nations, government agencies or non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

Here are brief profiles of this year's winners (more information is available on the website of the Dr Sharon Friedman is one of the world's leading researchers and teachers on science and environmental communication. She studies how scientific, environmental, technological and health issues are communicated to the public, and has conducted research on risk communication and on mass media coverage of the Three Mile Island and Chernobyl nuclear accidents among other hazards. In 1988, she co-authored with Kenneth A. Friedman the pioneering publication 'Reporting on the Environment: A Handbook for Journalists', published by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and the Asian-Pacific Forum of Environmental Journalists Translated into 19 languages, the book inspired a generation of environmental journalists across the Asia Pacific region. Read more at:

Haroldo Castro has 30 years of professional experience as an international communications strategist, filmmaker and television producer, photojournalist, and conservationist. He worked at Conservation International (CI) from 1991 to 2006. In 1999, he created a contest for environmental journalists, the "Biodiversity Reporting Award" ( to acknowledge the efforts of media professionals in developing countries. Before joining CI, Haroldo Castro worked in Washington, DC, as a correspondent for a Brazilian weekly magazine and as an independent television producer. Read more at:

As Director of the Asia Regional programme of the Panos Institute in the 1990s, Carmen Miranda was responsible for developing and managing a series of training programmes and fellowships for journalists in South Asia and Indonesia to create awareness and encourage reporting on environmental issues. The programmes were also designed to promote regional exchange of information on the environment, cooperation and
understanding and to identify common regional environmental concerns such as water, which was covered extensively and from different perspectives across the region through Panos media fellowships. Before and after her stint with Panos, Carmen has a varied career as writer, illustrator, film maker and campaigner on a range of environmental and social issues in her native India as well as in other parts of Asia, Africa and Europe. Read more at:

Nanette Woonton was the News Director for television news with Cook Islands Television in the Cook Islands, where she also worked in producing documentaries, advertisements, radio news and print news. In 2007, Woonton moved to Samoa to work with the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) as the Associate Media and Publications Officer. She has been instrumental in a strong climate change media outreach for the Pacific islands. In 2008,
she sourced funding for a capacity building for climate change reporting project, which brought Pacific islands reporters together to undergo training with specialists in climate and other environment fields. Read more at:

Natallia Sliadneva of Belarus is both a journalist and environmental educator. She is founder and Editor-in-Chief of the ecological magazines 'The World of Animals' and 'Ecologist and Me'. Starting her journalistic career in 1997, she has worked closely with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Culture as well as the Training-methodical Association of Higher
Educational Institutions in Belarus. Read more at:

The APFEJ and International Green Pen Foundation (IGPF) launched the
International Green Pen Awards in 1998. Since then dozens of environmental journalists and communicators from all over the world have been honoured with this coveted award.

Among the past winners are Nepal forum founder secretary Aditya Man Shrestha of Nepal, IFEJ co- FounderValentin Thurn of Germany,SEJ founder president Prof Jim Detjen of USA, Nina Ratulele of Fiji, Manuel Satorre of The Philippines and Yang Mao of China.

Nominations can be made by March 30 each year, and must include the
nominee's name, contact details, examples of their work and reasons for the nominations. The 2010 awards are to be presented on 5 June 2010 at a special ceremony at the 19th World congress of Environmental Journalists'
For further information please visit:

For more information please contact:
Dharman Wickremaratne
Asia-Pacific Forum of Environmental Journalists(APFEJ)
C/o Sri Lanka Lanka Environmental Journalists Forum(SLEJF)
PO Box 26
434/3 Sri Jayawardenapura
Sri Lanka.
E-mail: <> ,<>

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