Launch of the Arab Media Network for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation – Global

Cairo, 13 October 2022 – The United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR), Regional Bureau for Arab States, in cooperation with the Pacific Broadcasting Union and the Arab States Broadcasting Union, launched the Arab Media Network for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation during the two-day Media Workshop on Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change, which came to advance media capacity in the Arab region to understand, report and support the fundamental concepts of DRR and their interconnection with climate change, in line with the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and National Disaster Risk Reduction Strategies. The workshop saw the participation of representatives of local and regional media and United Nations agencies.

40 journalists from different Arab countries joined the workshop to form the first member of this media network. The workshop was organized in commemoration of the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction and as part of the preparations for COP27 and COP28 to be held in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt and Dubai, United Arab Emirates respectively. together, with the aim of improving the role of journalists and media professionals in the dissemination of information before, during and after disasters of all types, ranging from disasters triggered by natural hazards to those caused by man.

“It requires a whole-of-society effort to ensure that all at-risk communities are ready to act when alerts are issued, and no group is more important in this endeavor than the media,” said Mami Mizutori, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction and Head of UNDRR, in her opening remarks. “Journalists and other media professionals play a vital role in educating policy makers and political leaders about the real nature of disasters and their causes so that they can make policy decisions that mitigate future risks and do not transform a danger to catastrophe.”

The Arab Media Network for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation is the first media group in Arab countries concerned with reporting on how to reduce disaster risk and adapt to climate change in changing the mindset or way of thinking in approaching issues, as he calls for a shift from ‘disaster response’ to ‘disaster management’ to alleviate the level of fragility that makes communities more vulnerable to risks and therefore to disasters. Currently, media coverage appears to be post-disaster. The network will emphasize the role of journalists in setting priorities and influencing community policies and behavior, in order to save lives and serve the public interest The network will also work to strengthen the role of journalists as as observers of government practices in the event of failure of precautionary measures or response to risks and disaster risk reduction Investigations, investigative reports and other types of media coverage, if presented with a high level of professional and ethical requirements, contribute to the development of the systems adopted to deal with risks and disasters, and raise the level of limitation of these risks and their damage in the future.

Over two days, the workshop promoted a clear vision among local and regional media representatives from Arab countries of the link between disaster risk reduction in coherence with climate change action and the Sustainable Development Goals. It will highlight their role in disseminating information before, during and after disasters of all types and in raising public awareness of the urgent need to reduce disasters, by making disaster risks and environmental issues more visible, such as as the impact of climate change, and by strengthening society’s perception of the most pressing threats and giving a voice to those confronted with these threats. The workshop addressed the challenges faced by the media in ensuring comprehensive and effective coverage of COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh and resulted in the drafting of a set of recommendations for media coverage of COP28.

This year, the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction focuses on Goal G of the Sendai Framework: “Substantially increase the availability of and access to multi-hazard early warning systems and disaster risk information and assessments for people by 2030”.