Home Events Panel Discussion : Green Space: Media for Climate Action

Panel Discussion : Green Space: Media for Climate Action

Panel Discussion : Green Space: Media for Climate Action

The Sri Lanka Press Institute (SLPI) held a panel discussion today, (07), in Colombo, on the topic “Green Space: Media for Climate Action”. The event was attended by journalists, content creators, representatives of media organisations, civil society organisations and university students.

The panellists, Dr. Arunabha Ghosh, Founder-CEO of Council on Energy, Environment and Water, and Mr. Ruwan Wijewardene, Senior Advisor to the President on Climate Change discussed their knowledge and expertise on climate change, its impact on socio economic development, policies undertaken to counter it, and the role played by the media in climate action.

Opening the discussion, Kamanthi Wickramasinghe, Deputy Features Editor of Daily Mirror Newspaper, acting as moderator of the panel, emphasised the importance of understanding and exploring the effects of climate change, citing the recent rise in heat levels across Sri Lanka and India.

Dr. Arunabha Ghosh highlighted that climate change is not an environmental issue alone but one that impacts socio economic development, affecting the labour force, infrastructure, and the macroeconomy. He further noted that as climate change has non linear risks, it is important to make accurate assessments through the collection of hyper local data from district levels. Dr. Ghosh discussed the opportunities that climate change brings with the ability of tropical countries to participate in energy transition with India making use of both solar and wind energy to develop the transport sector. Dr. Ghosh highlighted that it is important for the media to communicate complicated scientific information in an engaging and interesting manner such as through comics and cartoons, poetry, or even a docu-series.

Mr. Ruwan Wijewardene, discussed the challenges of making climate related policy decisions in a country, such as Sri Lanka, emerging from an economic crisis. He further stated that the government has implemented a number of initiatives in order to facilitate climate action such as being part of the Climate Justice Forum, the Tropical Belt Initiative, and the establishment of an international climate change university which would focus on researching climate action, bringing in both local and international researchers. Acknowledging the intersectional impact of climate change affecting sectors such as agricultural, fisheries, and tourism, Mr Wijewardene emphasised the importance of regional cooperation and bringing together local officials in order to facilitate the implementation of climate change policies.

The panel discussion further outlined the challenges and opportunities brought by climate action and the need for effective media action in such times. It further highlighted the different initiatives taken by Sri Lanka and India in countering climate change and facilitating climate action.


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