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Samoan Stories of Survival on Sidelines of PMPC Samoa

Two short documentaries on climate change adaptation and disaster preparedness were produced by the ABU/UNESCO/ SPREP week-long workshop Samoa entitled: Getting the Message Across. One of the stories covered the preparations to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the 2009 tsunami, which took more than 100 lives. The other documentary focused on a conservation coastal project trying to stop the sea expansion.

The workshop was part of the events connected to the 10th Pacific Media Partnership Conference, generously  hosted by the ABU member TV1 Samoa. The  workshop “Getting the Message Across on Climate Change” was conducted with participants from Samoa, Fiji, Tonga, Vanuatu and Kiribati taking part.

A Masterclass as part of the main PMPC conference, was the initial exposure of the workshop participants to a number of key stakeholders within the Climate Change compass.  Briefings were offered by representatives of SPREP, the Pacific Office of the UN Environment Programme, the Pacific Disability Forum , the Samoa Disaster Management Office and the Papua New Guinean Meteorological Service.

Further parallel sessions were conducted to increase the knowledge base and initiate content development with contributions from UNESCO, FAO, the Pacific Environment Journalists Network, TV1 Samoa and UNICEF.

Geoff Gooley, Programme Manager Climate Change Centre, CSIRO, presented a synopsis from the 5th Pacific Meteorological Conference (a concurrent event in Samoa) with an in-depth view from the Scientific community on how the media should cooperate and develop scientific data to address the issues of “end-users” – farmers and fishermen,  in combating the environmental challenges ahead.

The group was also given an introductory session into Mobile Journalism and the use of recording and editing audio-visual items on mobile phones.

Field exercises saw the participants recording items on location at one of the Samoan villagers devastated by the 2009 Tsunami and at a village struggling to maintain their mangrove area against oncoming high tides and sea erosion.

Recorded items on mainstream video cameras and mobile phones were edited and presented at the end of the workshop with the participants committed to share stories, information and footage in the future and to cooperate on the development of environmental knowledge and expertise in the Pacific and beyond.