The UN climate change meeting in Copenhagen is putting a lot of pressure on oil-producing nations in the Middle East; but the reality is that most countries in the region are failing miserably in all areas of environmental protection. To that end, the United Nations has called for more reporting on the environment in the Middle East to spur awareness and change, and three organizations have taken on the challenge.
Environmentalists and writers from Palestine, Jordan and Israel will meet in Madaba, Jordan this month for a 2-day workshop: “Blogging for the Environment” on December 20-21. The workshop will be hosted by Green Prophet, the premier Middle East environment news blog, the Jordanian youth organization Masar Center, and the Palestinian Volunteering for Peace group that organizes service trips for foreigners.
Funded by the San Francisco-based United Religions Initiative, 15 prominent journalists and bloggers in Arabic, Hebrew and English will meet to brainstorm new ways to report on and instigate environmental change in areas of activism, design, urban health, religion, and clean technologies. The bloggers plan on reporting their encounter (here) on GreenProphet.com.
“No one can argue about the importance of clean air, fresh drinking water, and the pressing need for adopting new technologies like solar power for clean and renewable energy,” says Karin Kloosterman, the founder of Green Prophet.
“The environment is a leveler connecting Muslims, Jews, and Christians in this part of the world. By focusing on our shared challenges like global warming, water and pollution, we hope to encourage the crucial conversations and work in the field for a cleaner, more rewarding and sustainable Middle East,” she says.
Filling Holes in Environment Media Coverage
Co-organized by Daniella Cheslow, a Green Prophet blogger and freelance reporter, the workshop will offer an opportunity for promising Palestinian, Jordanian and Israeli writers to learn first-hand about regional environmental issues, to write about them in English, and to maintain important connections after the conference is over.
A focus point of the workshop is to teach journalists, inexperienced or new to blogging, successful techniques to reporting effectively using the blogging medium.
“Writing for the Internet age can be isolating. In this conference we are hoping not only to sharpen our blogging skills, but also to build a regional community of talented environmental journalists,” says Cheslow. “As our ecological problems cross borders, so must the people who cover them.”
The group will be blogging about their experiences on Green Prophet. All updates will also be added to one page – follow them here.
More about Green Prophet: Green Prophet is the most popular Middle East news blog covering environment news from the region. Featured on large mainstream news sites, and a Top 100 Green Blog, its 20 writers based in the Middle East, the UK and the US, report on climate change, water issues, clean technologies, sustainable food, Middle East religion and the environment, as well as green design. www.greenprophet.com
More about The Masar Center: Masar is a regional youth NGO working on issues of environment, media, democracy and human rights. Over the last 15 years, Masar has implemented several projects in the region targeting youth and youth leaders and created a platform for them to join alliances and partnerships. Masar has also worked on EuroMed issues of dialogue and cooperation bringing together activists from both regions to address issues of common interest.
More about Volunteering for Peace: Volunteering for Peace is a Palestinian non-governmental organization aiming to participate in establishing a bridge between the different faith and cultural groups in Palestine by spreading the idea of peace and non-violence in the world. Volunteering for Peace is an active cooperation circle of United Religions Initiative in Palestine. Further information can be seen at http://vfpeace.blogspot.com/