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HomeInvestigationsGIJC2021: why climate change investigations matters?

GIJC2021: why climate change investigations matters?

For the past decades droughts, floods, winds, hurricanes, wildfires, and global warming have planked the world leaving the humanity jeopardized, journalists highlighted why it is paramount to conduct climate change centred investigations.

Margo the host asked how investigative journalists can contribute to what we know and how humanity copes with this unprecedented challenge. Photo GIJC2021

On the second day of Global Investigative Journalist Conference 2021 streamed virtually from the 1st to the 5th of November, 2021, environment journalists hosted by Margot Smit, an investigative reporter and NPO Ombudsman (NPO is the first national television station in the Netherlands) explained why climate investigations matters along with tools and techniques.

Smit introduced the session saying that climate change may ultimately be the story of the 21st century. “We are witnessing record floods, droughts, hurricanes, heat waves, coastal erosion, and species decline”, she said.  

Hans Nicolas Jong, an environment journalist at Mongabay as one of the panellist said that forests are responsible for up to ¼ of all the global emission. “Forests are cleared out by cattle ranching, soybean farms, and palm oil plantation”, he added.    

All over the world, forests have destroyed the main ones endangered being the Amazon, the Congo Basin forest, and South East Asia forests. They have been subjected to illegal trafficking and poaching, logging, development and human expansion, and unsustainable farming as well.

In the Amazon rainforest, according to the World Atlas data, nearly 25 million hectares of the forest have been given over to soybean growth for human consumption and grown for livestock feed as well.    

In addition, same data reveals that 17% of the Amazon’s forests have been lost, mainly due to agriculture. Of all the Amazonian regions that have seen deforestation, 63% of that was directly due to the cattle farming industry.

As of the Congo Basin rainforest, Global Forest Watch (GFW) (an online monitoring forest platform revealed that in 2021, the Democratic Republic of Congo had 198Mha of natural forest extending over 85% of its land are. In 2020, it lost 1,31Mha of natural forest, equivalent to 854Mt of CO2 of emissions.

Mongabay reported that the main activities ruled out are industrial logging, mining, plantations and industrial agriculture, urbanisation, road building and infrastructure, petroleum exploration and extraction activities, to an increasing degree.

Margo the host asked how investigative journalists can contribute to what we know and how humanity copes with this unprecedented challenge.

However, these terrestrial ecosystems are wide and complex mostly not bowled in one location or a specific milieu but rather from different plots such as water basins going beyond one border country as said by Gustavo Faleiros, an Environment Investigations Editor at the Pulitzer Centre on Crisis Reporting.

He added that for the past years collaborative environment reporting has been greatly encouraged. It helped according to him coming with strong reporting through the coordination and working with great teams which he said the essence of cross-regional or collaborative projects.

“Collaboration is a key component to better stories”, said Gustavo.

In addition, it has helped to explore of trans-border works such as checking the presence of similar agents. Again it sustained common methodologies between teams along with the benefit from sharing one’s ideas. Ab0ve all, he added, sharing resources and data.  

While investigating on climate change, Hans provided some tools including Climate Action Tracker, Climate Analytics, Global Energy Monitor, EJ Atlas, and Nunsantara Atlas.

Panellists have been asked on how to get data in case government officials of state-owned organizations hold back them. Both Hans and Gustavo converge on Global Watch Forest (GFW) as one of the best platform to run to for data worldwide.

Burundi has also been affected by climate change. From December 2020 to April 2021, Lake Tanganyika waters rose up to 776m (over 3m compared to 773m of normality) leaving nearby and shore infrastructures destroyed.

Environment experts’ hypothesis drew their attention to the tree loss on mountain shedding the lake, human pressure on the lake, and unsustainable agricultural activities leaving bare mountains.

According to GFW data, as of 2010, Burundi’s tree cover stood at 553 Kha, it however extended to around 21% of the national land. As of 2020 it had lost 1,86Kha of tree cover which equals 913Kt of CO2 of emission.

“Deforestation driven activities govern this tree loss including pastures, charcoal, farming activities, building houses, as well as mining”, said environmentalists.

Espoir Iradukundahttps://insideburundi.org
Corrupti minus aut explicabo neque hic. Sed impedit quasi ut qui ratione commodi. Ut molestias aut quia delectus voluptatum ea itaque.…
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