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Media is a critical partner in Environment’s work

Participants with the chief guest at the opening this morning. Photo: MARIAN KUPU

Nuku’alofa – March 12, 2019: 1.50pm (Nuku’alofa Times): The Chief Environmentalist at the Department of Environment here in Nuku’alofa says the media is a critical partner in the campaign to save our environment here in Tonga.

Ms Mafile’o Masi made the comments while opening a three-day ‘Environment Reporting’ Media and Communication Training at the Bahai Faith in Kolofo’ou this morning.

She said the fact that environment issues are taking centre stage in the media around the globe makes the training a timely one, especially with the aim of informing the media about environment programs and how they (the media) in turn will make those information available to the people.

“The Environmental Reporting workshop has come at a time when environmental issues are taking centre stage in the media worldwide. The deteriorating environment around us is making life difficult on a daily basis, especially for those of us who rely on our land and marine resources for our livelihoods,” she said.

“This week’s media and communication training is therefore critical in the move to educate our people and make them aware of environmental issues and what we need to be doing to ensure that Tonga is clean, healthy and green.

“Today we are opening the door to forging partnerships with the media and communication sector in general. We hope that this opportunity will help us work together in ensuring that our people know what is happening, why that is happening, where it is happening, how it is happening and what we need to be doing.”

The training has been facilitated by the Pacific Environment Journalists Network (PEJN).

PEJN Chairman Iliesa Tora said the training is timely.

He thanked the Environment Department for hosting the training.

“This is important and we can only get better if we work together to save our environment, everyone, the media, government, members of the public,” he said.

“We hope that after the training we will be able to have more reports on environment issues that are affecting us and what and how programs being implemented are positively helping members of the communities all over Tonga.”

The training ends on Thursday.

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