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7th ABU Media Summit on Climate Action and Disaster Prevention: Fostering global collaboration for a sustainable future

Broadcasters and experts discuss climate challenges and disaster prevention strategies

The 7th ABU Media Summit on Climate Action and Disaster Prevention took place in Malé, Republic of Maldives, on May 9 and 10, bringing together broadcasters, experts, and government officials to address the pressing issues of climate change and disaster risk reduction. The Summit featured keynote addresses, panel discussions, and sessions aimed at fostering collaboration among media outlets in the Global South and linking broadcasters with other stakeholders in Climate Change adaptation and Disaster prevention to build resilient communities.

The Summit commenced with a keynote address by Aminath Shauna, the Minister of Climate Change, Environment, and Technology of the Maldives. Minister Shauna emphasized the need for immediate action on a global scale to protect lives, livelihoods, and the environment, highlighting the unique challenges faced by small island developing states like the Maldives.

The participants were also greeted with video message by Mami Mizutori, the Head of the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR). Ms. Mizutori commended the summit’s focus on climate action and disaster prevention, stressing the importance of collaboration and the role of media in disseminating crucial information to vulnerable populations.

The summit featured a series of sessions that covered a wide range of topics related to climate change and disaster prevention. One of the notable sessions was “Climate Existential Threats to Small Island Developing States – The Maldives Case,” which delved into the challenges faced by the Maldives and the government’s policies to protect lives, livelihoods, and the environment.

Another significant session was “Saving Lives and Livelihoods: UN Campaign Early Warnings for All,” which shed light on the UN’s campaign and showcased the Indian Ocean Tsunami Warnings and Mitigation System. The role of media in reaching all individuals in danger was also highlighted during this session.

The mid-term review of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction was discussed in a session that provided insights into the progress of its implementation and showcased the Maldives’ achievements.

The expectations for progress in the climate negotiations in COP28 was presented in the session “From Egypt to Dubai: A Roadmap to COP28.” The session outlined the achievements of COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh and the goals of COP28 in Abu Dhabi. Additionally, it explored how the media can accelerate commitments for a green transition among non-government stakeholders.

Leaders from various broadcasting unions gathered for the session “Together for Media Action on Climate Change and Disaster Prevention.” The session moderated by the ABU Secretary  General Ahmed Nadeem, who started with live conversation with Mami Mizutori about the challenges broadcasters face in their efforts to circulate live – saving Early Warning messages to the most vulnerable people. 

The ABU Vice – President Dr Yang Chengsheng expressed the commitment of ABU members to the WBU/UNDRR Media Saving Lives initiative, which has been implemented since its start in 2019 by ABU and AUB.  The ABU Board Member I Hendrasmo  emphasized the need to further strengthen collaboration between the Broadcasting Unions in the Global South. 

Nadeem was joined by Gregoire Ndjaka, CEO of the African Union of Broadcasting who is a Champion of using media for saving lives in Africa. Ndjaka emphasized the importance of localization of capacity – building for journalists so they educate most vulnerable populations in their local dialects. Ndjaka also call for more training and regional and cross – regional forums for journalists to exchange ideas, practices and do more co-productions.

Antonio Arcidiacono, Director of EBU Technology and Innovation, and Sonia Gill, CBU Secretary-General of the Carribean Broadcasting Union, who participated remotely, reflected on the actions taken in their respective regions and countries and announced a collective commitment to take further action.

The summit also examined the role of media in communicating climate change and risk, working with partners on the ground, and rethinking news reporting on climate change and disaster risk reduction. Sessions specifically dedicated to the crucial role of radio in preparing for disasters and reaching vulnerable populations, as well as the greening of the audiovisual sector, were also held.

The 7th ABU Media Summit on Climate Action and Disaster Prevention concluded on a high note, with participants adopting a joint call for action acknowledging the broadcasting industry’s crucial role in climate change communication and disaster prevention.

More photos from the summit can be accessed here: