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Kenyatta University Green Education Hub marked its 7th Green Education Day on Friday 24th February 2023, at the main campus

“The Role of Media in Environmental Awareness”

Across the globe, environmental issues are gaining media attention, thus increasing awareness of environmental and sustainability problems and their effects on various ecosystems. It is against this backdrop that Kenyatta University Green Education Hub organised a workshop on the Role of Media in Environmental Awareness on 24th February 2023 as part of the Green Education Day series of events held every last Friday of the month. The primary purpose of the workshop was to expose the Kenyatta University community to knowledge and skills in utilising various media channels to disseminate environmental and climate information. The event was attended by the Hub ambassadors, students and staff from various faculties and were joined by guests, including the Coordinator of the International University Network on Cultural and Biological Diversity (IUNCBD), Prof. Pierluigi Bozzi, and a team from Nature Kenya, Africa’s oldest environmental society connecting people with nature to take action for biodiversity conservation.The event began with a performance Hope You Can See, by one of our Green Education Ambassadors, Jesse David. The climate song by Jesse raises awareness of global warming and other climate change extremes, and calls for international collaborations to support climate justice movements. The song was first performed at the Conference of Parties (COP) 27 at Sharm el Sheikh and has since featured in a number of news platforms including the BBC. After the performance, he encouraged the youth to utilise songs and other art forms to raise awareness about sustainability challenges such as climate change. He reiterated that songs and other forms of art on environmental issues could be featured in traditional media, including television and digital media such as YouTube and Twitter to enhance dissemination to the target audience.

The Hub screened the Journey to Justice, a film produced by Kenyatta University School of Law in collaboration Konrad Adenauer Stiftung. The film details the environmental challenges that communities in Lamu and Turkana Counties have faced due to the implementation of the Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia-Transport (LAPSSET) Corridor. After the screening, participants, especially students, were challenged to produce more films documenting sustainability challenges facing the Kenyan communities. It was noted that producing such films and using social and mainstream media to disseminate them will increase environmental awareness in the country.

Guest speakers contributed to knowledge on strategies to exploit media opportunities to raise environmental awareness. Ms Mercy Imbinda, a journalist and news anchor at KU TV, explained that media is relevant in climate advocacy because it provides essential information that culminates into best sustainability practices. She demonstrated to the participants some of ways of tweeting to ensure they were impact. Ms Angela Mecha who is the manager in charge of membership, communication and marketing at Nature Kenya asked the participants to always be mindful of the different audiences in selecting media to disseminate environmental and climate change information. She noted that the channels the participants should choose should conform to various groups’ interests. Specifically, she highlighted that students should use relatable and accessible media channels to policymakers, academia and other groups. Ms Mecha encouraged the students to document the environmental challenges facing Kenyan communities and be at the forefront of demonstrating the adoption of sustainable lifestyle activities. Nature Kenya donated magazines, newsletters and pamphlets on birdwatching and other significant environment issues to the Hub. This builds on the Hub’s commitment to partnering with various organisations to provide teaching and learning materials to students.

Prof. Bozzi on his part emphasised the need for higher education institutions (HEIs) to be fully engaged in formulating policies that link education with nature. Developing such policies will significantly help HEIs to identify opportunities for their students to get involved in national climate action initiatives, including those that rely on media to bridge the climate literacy gap. Dr Jackline Nyerere, the Green Education Hub Lead, thanked the participants for attending the event and noted that the Hub presents more opportunities for university students to acquire skills and values in climate action.




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