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Climate change

One of the major challenges facing people affected by environmental change, campaigners and decision-makers is a lack of information.

Many people are unaware of the decisions made on environmental policy that will have a direct effect on their lives. Conversely, international and national policymakers do not always know about the needs and priorities of the local communities they represent.

We work primarily with the media to enable information about national and international decision-making to be communicated as widely as possible. The media are also an important outlet for local people to express themselves and make their views known, on their own terms.

However, it is a challenge to convince mainly urban-based journalists to work with excluded communities and to recognise the importance of listening to these communities. We train these journalists, offering two tiers of support:

  • Through workshops and attending international summits, journalists learn to recognise and value unheard voices, and gain a better understanding of the details of environmental negotiations and decision-making
  • We offer assistance, including funding, so that journalists can gather the opinions of people living in areas remote from urban centres in order to produce more balanced and well-rounded stories

We also work with editors, to increase the chances of the results of this support being broadcast and published.

Our work with local communities most affected by environmental issues involves finding ways for them to articulate their concerns and needs in ways that are culturally appropriate and tailored to them. For example, we have trained people to gather the stories and experiences of people in their own communities and helped them to identify the best ways for this information to reach key decision-makers.

Panos London is responding to climate change by ensuring accessible information is provided to those who will be most affected by the change in the environment

Selected Climate change project

Climate Change Media Partnership

The media has a key role to play in raising awareness about climate change at both global and local levels. The CCMP project is an exciting programme designed to ensure this will happen.

Climate change publications

Why the media matters in a warming world

Climate change journalism can protect people and promote development. This policy briefing explains how supporting journalists can help countries to implement policies that work, while meeting their international obligations.

Reporting REDD

Reporting REDD is a new media pack aiming to give journalists an overview of a vital issue in global climate change negotiations. REDD – reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries – is a proposed mechanism to slow the loss of forests, but how it

Reporting on climate change

Former BBC News Online environment correspondent Alex Kirby shared his insights into reporting on climate change over the past 20 years.

Up in smoke?

An aerial view of a forest with lots of smoke wafting through.

An ongoing series of reports exploring the key environment and development issues that are emerging across the globe as climate change begins to bite.

Climate change: Adapting to the greenhouse

Climate change will mean a different world for us all. For millions it will bring higher temperatures, less water, scarcer food and more risk of natural disasters, such as floods and storms. But every country can help itself to cope by accepting and adapting to this new reality.

A mine of information?

Revealing the gaps in consultation and communication around Rio Tinto's ilmenite mine in southern Madagascar.

Fuelling controversy

The extent to which biofuels can play a beneficial role in replacing fossil fuels is hotly debated.

Whatever the weather

The media play an important role in stimulating discussion in developing countries. Yet this study shows it has a poor understanding of climate change and expresses little interest in it. 

The GM debate – who decides?

This report asks who is involved in and who is being left out of the debate on genetically modified (GM) food  – and how the media is covering the GM controversy. 

Voices from the mountain: Mexico

Interviews with the four indigenous Zapotec communities, for whom outside pressures and influences are increasing as never before.

Voices from the mountain: Pakistan

Herding in the pastures, hopes and fears about a new road, and education are key themes in this collection of interviews from a community in the far north of Pakistan.  

Voices from the mountain: Nepal

Interviews with Nepalis about poverty, migration, education and employment, water resources and deforestation, gender, and the impact of the Maoist insurgency on ordinary people. 

Voices from the mountain: India

Interviews with communities from Uttaranchal and Himachal Pradesh, India.

High stakes

The most effective way to protect mountains for future generations is to invest in the people who live there.

Voices from the mountain: Peru

Interviews from Cerro de Pasco, where people's herding lifestyle has undergone great changes, principally as a result of Peru's most important industry: mining. 

Voices from the mountain: China

Interviews from two contrasting mountainous areas: with minority peoples in the southwest, and with the majority Han in the northeast.

Voices from the mountain: Poland

These interviews from Poland show how the complex political history of Europe's last 80 years has had a profound impact on a relatively remote highland area. 

Voices from the mountain: Lesotho

Interviews from the highlands of Lesotho, where a major water project is about to displace many villagers. 

Voices from the mountain: Kenya

Interviews gathered from the upper and lower slopes in Mount Elgon district, in Kenya's Western Province.  

Voices from the mountain: Ethiopia

Testimonies gathered from the northern highlands of Ethiopia, where people are concerned for the future, if also proud of their heritage and identity.

Just a lot of hot air?

Explains the issues and concerns, possibilities and dangers around agreeing joint action on reducing fossil fuel use.

Economics forever

Outlines some of the different ways being tried today to make the environment count in economic planning towards sustainable growth.

Cities of the future

An examination of the challenges and debates around growing urbanisation, particularly in the developing world.

Greed or need?

An overview of the debate over genetically modified crops and the need for accurate and understandable information on the issue.

Liquid assets

Looks at how the rising demand for water can and should be met, and the pitfalls of the privatisation of water supply.

Climate change blog posts & features

Concours: gagnez la chance de participer à la COP 18

Avez-vous une histoire à raconter sur le changement climatique? Voulez-vous assister à la Conférence des Nations Unies sur les changements climatiques (COP 18) à Doha, au Qatar pour faire les reportages sur les événements avec TerrAfrica Green Radio? Si la réponse est oui, alors lisez la suite!

Competition: win a trip to COP18

Do you have a story to tell about climate change? Would you like to attend the United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP 18) in Doha, Qatar, to cover the events for TerrAfrica Green Radio? If the answer is yes, then read on!

‘Dazzle me’ editor tells climate change reporters

As climate change is pulled down the news agenda, how do journalists in countries most affected by climate change get their readers excited about the topic?

Kashmir ‘paradise’ runs out of water

A beautiful living stream - Faisal Raza Khan | Panos London

The Kashmir mountains are a beautiful setting, but the impacts of climate change are beginning to be felt as the water seems to be drying up.

Persuasion, prison and hard cash: how Nigeria is halting rainforest loss

Okoikpi inspecting a tree seedling in the Akasanko forest - Armsfree Ajanaku | Panos London

In this article for the Climate Change Media Partnership, Armsfree looks at what is being done in Nigeria to allow local rainforests to begin to grow back.

Mighty agro-lobby threatens reforestation of Amazon

The most dramatic way to see the extent of deforestation in the Amazon rainforest is from the air - Eduardo Martino | Panos Pictures

Brazil has dramatically slowed down the rate of Amazon deforestation in the past six years. But restoring the swathes of rainforest is another huge challenge – and one that is meeting powerful political opposition.

Radio keeps us informed through the drought

Dogon women listening to the radio as they work, Mali - Rhodri Jones | Panos Pictures

With the worsening food shortage in Mali, Kaidia tells us how local radio is sharing valuable information with rural communities.

Killings in the Amazon: “I am alone in this war”

Threatened Actvist - Nilcilene Miguel de Lima, a small farmer threatened to death. She is a local forest-activist in Lábrea, south of the State of Amazonas, Brazil - Lilo Clareto | Panos London

The Brazilian government claims destruction of the Amazon has fallen to its lowest level in 23 years. But environmental activists continue to be threatened and killed by loggers. Ana Aranha met one woman forced into hiding by assassins.

Reflections on Durban

Panos Caribbean; London and South Africa all represented at the COP.From left to right Indi McLymont- Lafayette; Tim Williams and Vusumuzi Sifile - Tim Williams | Panos London

Tim looks back at CoP17, working with the Climate Change Media Partnership, and offers a critique of the communications process underpinning the conference.

Trials of tending the women’s garden

A girl carries water on her head in the village of Intedeyne, Mali - Ami Vitale | Panos Pictures

Kaidia speaks about how her community has dealt with rain shortages and drought over recent years.

Behind the scenes at the UN climate change conference

Behind the scenes, from Durban, CoP17 - Tim Williams | Panos London

These photos take you through a day of working as part of the Climate Change Media Partnership at the Durban 2011 climate change conference.

Droughts in Mali causing crisis

Skulls and horns litter the dried out bed of Lake Banzena. It has not rained for months and the area is suffering from the most severe drought to hit Mali in 29 years - Abbie Trayler-Smith | Panos Pictures

Failed harvests and low food reserves in the Sahel, particularly Mali, Chad, Mauritania and Burkina Faso, means millions of people are facing a food crisis in early 2012. Kaidia Samaké explains how the lack of rain has caused her own harvests to fail and what this means for her and her children.

Q&A with Argentina’s delegates at COP17

The Upsala Glacier, which forms part of Southern Patagonian Ice Field of Argentina and Chile - Dermot Tatlow | Panos Pictures

Argentinian journalist María Gabriela Ensinck puts some questions to delegates from her country on the final day of COP17 in Durban.

Brazil’s hopes and fears at COP17

The most dramatic way to see the extent of deforestation in the Amazon rainforest is from the air. | Panos Pictures

As the UN COP17 climate change talks in Durban enter their final day, Brazilian journalist Flávia Moraes asks delegates from her country what they hope to achieve and whether Western governments are taking the views of Southern countries seriously enough.

Communicating climate change without the clutter

The sheer edge of the Equip Sermia glacier that calves into a fjord within the cluster of islands to the East of the famous Disko Bay. The glacier was photographed from the air on the West Greenland coast - Nick Cobbing | Panos Pictures

Armsfree Ajanaku tries to strip away some of the jargon common to climate change debates. Read the original article with the Climate Change Media Partnership

Replanting Nigeria’s tropical forest

Tree-felling has degraded Nigeria's once-rich forests - Bruce Paton | Panos Pictures

Nigeria, once at the heart of the tropical rainforest belt, has lost around 95 per cent of its forest cover and now imports 75 per cent of its timber. But an initiative – which calls on people living around the forest to repair the damage – is underway.

Rural women want alternatives to ‘slash and burn’

Slash and burn methods adopted by farmers have seen swathes of forest in the centre of the country go up in flames to create farmland in Sierra Leone - Fredrik Naumann | Panos Pictures

Before leaving for Durban, Wendi Bernadette Losha explained to Leocadia Bongben why ‘slash and burn’ farming techniques are bad for both local agriculture and the environment and why the Durban conference must provide alternatives for small scale farmers.

Wind powers Kenya’s growth

An elderly member of the Turkana community stands in a field which has not produced since 1997 due to lack of water - Frederic Courbet / Panos Pictures

Salima village lies onthe main route to Loiyangalani, allowing women and children to beg for food and water from passing traffic. There is very little in this remote, arid area of Kenya. Yet there is one thing in abundance in this desolate spot: wind.

Cameroon’s changing weather linked to crop disease

Cocoyam, a staple food in Cameroon, is largely absent from the market this year after a blight destroyed most of last year's crop

Scientists in Cameroon link changing weather patterns to a fungal disease of the staple cocoyam crop. Preventing or treating future damage is essential in a country in which rising food prices have caused unrest and continue to threaten food security.

Greening South Africa’s energy policies

More than 90 per cent of the coal consumed on the African continent is produced in South Africa

South Africa’s energy policies will come under scrutiny as it hosts the UN climate change talks in November.

Sun’s rays power Kyrgyz hospitals

Mountainous territory and poor infrastructure means electricity supply in Kyrgyzstan is erratic / Chris Sattlberger - Panos London

From next month, five hospitals in remote mountainous provinces of Kyrgyzstan will start using solar panels to transform the sun’s rays into clean energy and hot water. Komila Nabiyeva spoke to the Kyrgyz delegation at the recent UNFCCC climate change talks in Bonn to find out more about the project

Colombia: housing to fight climate change

Following a fire, planners seized the chance to build homes designed to cope with Riosucio’s increasingly devastating floods. More houses like these will be needed to adjust to Colombia’s ‘new climate reality’.

Tamil Nadu’s shrinking islets spell sea change

A fisherman in Tamil Nadu returns to shore with his Kattumaram raft and a net bursting with fish

A network of tiny islands in Tamil Nadu is shrinking due to a rise in sea water in the estuary. Experts fear the impact of a rise in sea levels on India’s coasts yet CCMP fellow Gokul Chandrasekar finds the Indian government has no regulation for the impact of climate change on the coastline.

Nigeria: eroded earth swallows up homes

Nigerian reporter Ugochi Anyaka witnesses the effects of massive soil erosion and hears possible solutions.

Preparing for glacier disaster

Rina Saeed Khan explores a climate change project designed to protect Pakistani mountain villages from glacier collapse.