The international environmental citizen journalism forum EcoBlogy will give bloggers and journalists across the world a chance to join forces and set up an econetwork, said Andrei Reznichenko, head of the Science and Environmental News department at RIA Novosti.
The first environmental citizen journalism forum EcoBlogy will be held in Moscow on April 18 and 19. It is being organized jointly by the Ford Foundation’s International Fellowships Program (IFP) in Russia and RIA Novosti.
“We all live on one planet and I think that the impact of last summer’s abnormal heat-wave in Moscow was felt all over the world,” Reznichenko told a RIA Novosti news conference. “I have great hopes that the forum will help us find something that people who are working to protect the environment can unite around, something that can empower them, fueling their interest in and desire to blog about the planet’s problems.”
“The forum will be attended by IFP alumni from many countries, including Russia, as well as regional bloggers selected on the basis of the proposals they submit,” said Valery Levchenko, Deputy Editor-in-Chief at RIA Novosti. “In all, we expect about 100 people to attend the forum.”
IFP Russia Director Oksana Oracheva described forum participants as socially engaged people who care and are willing to do something to make change possible.
“We expect delegates from Mexico, Brazil, Guatemala, Chilе, India, China, the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand and South Africa. The forum will provide another venue for IFP alumni from across the world, at the same time offering them an opportunity to become more actively involved in the professional journalistic and environmental communities,” Oracheva said.
Katya Pal, Director of Development at WWF Russia, believes bloggers are a very important part of the Internet not only because they post news but because they are also an indicator of the environmental organization’s effectiveness.
“They tell us something about ourselves, helping us decide whether we are moving in the right direction and doing the right thing,” Pal said. “We, as a public organization, find that very interesting. Because we are funded by donations we have to think all the time about new ways to raise funds for our projects. In this respect, we could emulate the example of this fundamentally new medium.”
“Environmental problems are provoked by excessive consumption,” said Alexander Fyodorov, head of the Association of Environmental Journalists. “Environmental journalists are working at the forefront of human civilization, of humankind’s relationship with the environment, to protect and preserve the riches of the natural world. Nature may be beautiful, but there is a war on; it is being waged by journalists who are fighting like soldiers on the frontline.”
The forum will provide an excellent opportunity to discuss environmental problems, exchange new technologies and understand how they can be used in future, said Vivek Mansukhani, IFP India Director, who took part in the Moscow-New Delhi videoconference. He said the fact that the forum participants are in a position to see the global picture, will help them to act locally to tackle their problems when they get back home.
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