Biodiversity and natural resource management in West and Central Africa through accurate, accessible and informed broadcast journalism
Conservation and protection of the abundant natural resources and rich biodiversity of West and Central Africa’s forests is a vital part of ensuring peace and sustainable development in the region. These forest ecosystems are of global importance in terms of climate change mitigation, and are considered among the most biologically diverse in the world. Yet human intervention, often driven by poverty and civil conflict, has placed extreme stress on these unique and fragile ecosystems.
At Hirondelle USA, we believe that media can play a vital role in ensuring that local communities have the information and the tools they need for effective stewardship of their resources, and that national and regional governments are engaged with, and accountable to, the populations they serve. However, people living in the forest regions of West and Central Africa – as well as in the ecologically fragile wetland areas of the Niger and Congo River basins – are particularly isolated, often cut off from vital news and information. Broadcasting locally produced programs in indigenous languages on FM and Shortwave radio, Hirondelle media networks are often the only broadcaster accessible to the communities on the “front line” of this environmental crisis.
In order to meet the information needs of these West and Central African populations Hirondelle USA, Fondation Hirondelle and our local partners are working to report on vital environmental issues- forest management, erosion, water, urban development, wildlife management, conservation, and more- and to provide a platform for engagement and debate at the local and national levels.
Reporting on the Environment: Map of Hirondelle Media
Photo: Palm kernels in Guinea photographed by Nazia Parvez