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7th ABU Media Summit on Climate Action and Disaster Prevention issues a Call for Action

Broadcasting industry acknowledges its crucial role in climate change communication and disaster prevention

The 7th ABU Media Summit on Climate Action and Disaster Prevention, held from 9th to 10th May 2023, concluded with a Call for Action document. Delegates representing broadcasters from the Asia-Pacific, Africa, Caribbean and European  regions committed to enhance communication regarding climate change challenges and disaster prevention.

The declaration adopted by the parties highlighted the vital role of the media, particularly radio and television, in reaching out to citizens and fostering a greater understanding of climate change issues and the necessary actions to address them. It emphasized that climate change affects all nations and disasters recognize no national borders or distinctions between rich and poor countries.

The delegates called for the recognition of the media’s role in the communication chain of Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and the inclusion of media transmission infrastructures in the list of resilient infrastructures to be achieved by 2030. They requested the UN and other committed agencies to deliver the “Early Warnings for All” project, ensuring that life-saving information reaches the entire population through television, radio, and online platforms.

Furthermore, the declaration called on governments participating in the next World Radio Conference of the ITU in Dubai to preserve the portion of radio-electric spectrum dedicated to broadcasting beyond 2030, safeguarding its use for emergency radio and TV communication.

The parties reaffirmed their commitment to conveying life-saving disaster prevention information and increasing awareness of climate change among their respective nations. They urged broadcasters worldwide to join them in taking action and participating in the Media Saving Lives project. The importance of disseminating vital data on climate change and disaster prevention to radio, television, and online audiences was emphasized, along with the promotion of co-productions, material pooling, and the exchange of information and ideas.

Additionally, the delegates recognized the human costs of inaction, particularly in relation to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, and stressed the need to address poverty alleviation. They encouraged partnerships between broadcasting organizations, governments, civil society, research institutions, and international agencies to ensure the availability of professional and accurate messages for public information and education.

The declaration concluded by urging all broadcasters and partners to present this “Call for Action” before the United Nations and its associated agencies, ensuring that the voices of the Asia-Pacific region and other regions are heard in the international arena. The mid-term review of the Sendai Framework and the upcoming UN Summit of the Future in 2024 were highlighted as crucial opportunities to address these pressing issues.

More photos from the second day of the summit can be accessed here: