Nigerian Journalist Embarks on U.S. Tour after Winning UNEP Media Award
Nairobi, 14 June 2013 - A young Nigerian radio journalist is taking part in a high-profile study tour of the United States, after winning a prestigious environmental media award organized by the United Nations.
Ugochi Anyaka from Imo State, Nigeria, is currently in Colorado on the latest leg of a specially-designed "green itinerary", where she is meeting with leading environmental reporters, scientists, and researchers, and visiting sustainable development projects across the US.
This week, Ms. Anyaka joined scholars, social scientists, and journalists at the 'Communicating Climate Science' conference in Granby, Colorado. The event focused on the role members of the media can play in relaying the latest science on climate change to the wider public.
Since arriving in the US on 2 June, Ms. Anyaka has spent time with National Geographic magazine, the US Environmental Protection Agency, the US Department of State, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and completed a work placement with Voice of America.
"Whether it is in US newsrooms, radio stations in Nigeria, or through social media accounts across the world, reporters have an increasingly important role to play in informing the public about our rapidly changing environment," said Ugochi Anyaka.
"Studies by UNEP and others have shown that the world's current level of consumption is unsustainable, especially with growing pressure on water, land and other critical resources. As journalists, we need to inform the public and policymakers of the latest environmental science, the impact of our changing environment on our communities and livelihoods, and the green solutions that exist to tackle climate change, and promote a fairer share of resources for all."
Ms. Anyaka is keeping a blog during her US study tour, which is available at:
In Nigeria, Ms. Anyaka hosts an environmental radio show "Green Angle" on ASO Radio and also works as a producer, reporter and continuity announcer at the station. Her regular blog is available at www.econigeria.com and she tweets at @ugochianyaka.
She was awarded the 2nd Young Environmental Journalist Award - organized by UNEP - for her radio report Saving the Trees for Paper Briquettes. The piece, which was broadcast on ASO Radio, profiled a project in a low-income suburb of Abuja that manufactures briquettes from waste paper, in order to provide an alternative fuel to traditional firewood.
Launched in 2010, the UNEP Young Environmental Journalist Award aims to showcase excellence in the field of environmental reporting and nurture new talent that will help to shape opinion on the environment in Africa, and beyond, in years to come. The award, which is open to all African journalists between 21 and 35 years, is made possible though funding support from the US Department of State.
In the most recent round of the competition, a total of 127 entries were received from television, radio, online and print journalists in 28 countries. The diverse topics covered included the economic and environmental impacts of invasive species in Lake Victoria, efforts to reduce plastic bag use in Togo, and the breeding of climate change-resilient chickens in Namibia.
The winning entry was chosen by the YEJA jury, which brought together experts from the worlds of journalism, development and science. The jury members were Amie Joof, Executive Director of the Senegal-based Inter-African Network for Women, Media, Gender and Development (FAMEDEV), Diran Onifade, journalist and manager with the Nigerian Television Authority and President of the African Federation of Science Journalists, Stanis Nkdundiye, Steering Committee member of the Federation of African Journalists and Sunday Leonard, Special (Scientific) Assistant to the Chief Scientist of UNEP.
Announcements regarding next year's Young Environmental Journalist Award will be made on
For more information, please contact:
Bryan Coll, UNEP Newsdesk (Nairobi) on Tel. +254 731 666 214 / email@example.com