The well-being of African societies in a changing climate system, and even more so the living conditions of future generations, are defined by the decisions our political leaders and the voting public take today. Good and effective decision making depends on the wider public being well informed about the science of climate change, including issues on climate change governance from a global perspective and in the context of the regions and countries they reside.
The media plays a critical role in informing the general public, raising issues to agenda status and influencing decision makers. In order to do so effectively, the media itself must be well informed and journalists capable of adhering to the media principles of accuracy, objectivity and fairness as well as to being true to its watchdog role.
The Heinrich Boll Foundation Southern Africa, working with Inter Press Services (IPS) Africa has published a handbook for journalists titled Climate Governance in Africa. The handbook covers key tools for journalists who want to report on climate governance on the African continent and provides a succinct overview of the governance issues the continent has to contend with, such as mainstreaming climate policies into broader development policies and plans, gender responsive climate action, climate finance and market based mechanisms for adaptation. The handbook also provides tips on the questions journalists should take note of when covering selected governance issues and offers ideas on how to bring in climate governance perspectives into stories that would otherwise be considered as unrelated.