Written By Dedeigbo Ayodeji Samson
Posted By Town Crier News Nigeria
Published By Fitness Network Communications
The theme of the webinar was Climate Change Implications for Food and Nutrition Outcomes: The Role of the Media.”
Olumide, who is the Executive Director, International Climate Change Development Initiative Africa, said that having food security is necessary to ensure that the health and productivity of individuals are not affected.
Food systems comprise all activities from production, post-harvest storage, transportation, processing, distribution, trade and marketing, regulation, consumption of food, and the outcomes of nutrition and health, socio-economy, and the environment. Food systems constitute the first action track of the Decade of Action on Nutrition
He pointed out that climate change affects agricultural output, and the nutritional quality of food and ultimately disrupts the food supply chain which leads to scarcity and high prices.
With the growing threat of climate change globally, experts have called for better collaboration between private sector players and media organisations to step up advocacy about the impact, especially on food supply and nutritional implications.
Speaking at a webinar organised by the Lagos Business School Sustainability Centre in collaboration with Nestle Nigeria on Tuesday, 4th July 2023, an environment activist, Olumide Emmanuel Idowu, said media platforms have a pivotal role to play in climate change impact awareness.
Given the glooming picture of this global environmental problem, Idowu, who is also called ‘Mr Climate’, advised that media workers should have a deeper knowledge of climate change issues and be able to tell the story for the benefit of the masses affected by the challenge.
Idowu, who noted that there are a lot of policy papers on climate change but less advocacy, urged journalists to tell stories about climate change from a local perspective to engage people in local communities to understand what it is all about, how it affects them and what they need to do on their part to keep the environment safe.
“The media has a role to play in putting out word and content that enlightens the public on the effects of climate change on food value chains and nutrition,” Idowu stated.
Also, speaking during a panel discussion in the webinar, Dr Dolapo Kukoyi, Thematic òLead, Climate Change, Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG), called on both government and private sector managers to spearhead the creation and implementation of proactive policies that address the effects of climate change, especially on food security and nutrition.
She urged journalists to deploy their skills in curating special stories that give deep insight to the masses about climate change, adding that such equally draw the attention of investors and policy creators to take necessary actions towards tackling the menace.
“The Private Sector and the media must collaborate to move the needle in climate change reporting. Broader partnerships are with NGOs and Development Institutions who have done a good job in pushing the climate change narrative” said Kukoyi.
Amouka, who moderated the panel session, said stories about climate change need to be factual and solution-based.
On his part, Tuoyo Amouka, Chief Growth Officer and Special Project Lead Vanguard, urged media professionals focused on climate change reporting to adopt innovative ways of telling stories about the subject.
“Media content must be factual, engaging and must reach as many people as possible per time providing recommendations, solutions, and actions that should be taken,” he added.
“We need to do a lot of advocacy and this is where the media comes in to help in pushing advocacy to forge policies that will help us rein in climate change effects on food security and nutrition,” Amouka said.
Keywords: Advocacy; Agriculture; Climate change; Food systems; Global warming; Media analysis.
Conclusions: Though media coverage of food systems’ effects on climate change is increasing, coverage of the issue remains limited. As media play a key role in increasing public and political awareness of matters, the findings provide valuable insights for advocates wishing to increase engagement on the issue. Increased media coverage may raise public awareness and encourage action by policymakers. Collaboration between public health and environmental stakeholders to increase public knowledge of the relationship between food systems and climate change is recommended.