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UNCCD Regional Media Workshops

In the run-up to Rio+20, UNCCD plans a series of regional media workshops on land degradation, desertification and drought. At this time, UNCCD is calling for applications from environmental journalists from Asia. Up to 15 successful journalists will be sponsored to participate in a 3-day workshop in Inner Mongolian province of China, which will include meetings with land experts and a field trip, showcasing both the challenges of land degradation and the best practices of combating it.

Rationale:
The world’s most significant non-renewable resource is productive land. Nevertheless, each year an estimated 75 billion tons of fertile soil are lost. Land degradation and desertification are a major threat to life on earth, directly affecting 1.5 billion people globally and undercutting food and water security.

Practical solutions to desertification exist at many levels and are being successfully employed by communities around the world. More than 2 billion hectares of land are suitable for rehabilitation through forest and landscape restoration. This offers an opportunity to reduce poverty, increase food production, enhance freshwater availability and mitigate climate change.

At the UN General Assembly High-level Meeting*, many leaders stressed the need to build a land-degradation neutral world, whereby land degradation is avoided and every hectare of degraded land is offset by a hectare that is restored. They emphasized the need to set measurable targets for sustainable development to move towards “zero-net land degradation.” 

Objectives:
- Increase media coverage about the challenges of land degradation and best practices of sustainable land management
- Promote setting of the Zero-Net Land Degradation target in the run-up to Rio+20
- Build a community of journalists, writing regularly about combating desertification, land degradation and mitigating the effects of drought.

Eligibility and selection criteria: 
Competition is now open to environmental journalists from across Asia (North-East, West, South, South-East and Central Asia), who have previously reported on land degradation and desertification.
 
To be considered for participation in the workshop, prospective candidates are asked to submit:
- Two by-lined articles (print, online, radio or TV reports) about land degradation (articles written in other language than English should be accompanied by a short summary in English)
- A letter from the supervising editor, committing to publish the journalist’s articles
- One-page motivation letter, which:
o explains the journalist’s interest in taking part in the workshop
o outlines previous reporting on the topic
o states the number of articles s/he will publish following the workshop as well as the provisional time for publication: prior to or during the Rio+20 Conference.
 
Workshop overview and program:
Selected journalists will participate in a 3-day workshop, which will include meetings with land experts and a field trip, showcasing both the challenges of land degradation and the best practices of combating it. Two weeks after the workshop, the journalists will be asked to submit their articles and reportages, which will be also featured on the UNCCD website.
 
Sponsorship:
The costs of the travel and accommodation for the workshop participants will be borne by the UNCCD and its partners. The participants will be provided invitation letters as required for obtaining a visa. However, they are expected to make all the necessary arrangements for travel, including visas, health certificates and travel insurance prior to travel. Authorization from the Secretariat will be necessary before they make travel arrangements.
 
Time and venue: 
The media workshop in Asia is planned for the end of May. It will be held in Inner Mongolia, China. The working language of the workshop is English.
 
Deadline for applications:
Complete applications should be sent to press@unccd.int until 9 April 2012 with the following subject line: Application for Media Workshop in Asia. Successful candidates will be notified by 20 April 2012. 
 
For more information, please contact:
Komila Nabiyeva
Awareness Raising and Communications Unit
UNCCD Secretariat
Tel: +49-228-815-2830
Fax: +49-228-815-2898/99
Hermann-Ehlers Str.10
53113 Bonn, Germany
E-mail: knabiyeva@unccd.int
 
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*The UN General Assembly convened a High-level Meeting on the theme “Addressing Desertification, Land Degradation and Drought in the context of Sustainable Development and Poverty Eradication” on 20 September 2011.

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