Multimedia Group Limited (Kumasi Division) journalist, Kofi Adu Domfeh, has emerged winner of the 2014 African Climate Change and Environmental Reporting (ACCER) Awards, held on the sidelines of the First UN Environmental Assembly (UNEA) in Nairobi, Kenya.
His radio piece: “When Production Soils Run Dry”, aired on Luv FM and Joy FM ahead of the 2013 National Farmers’ Day in Ghana, was adjudged the overall best in the English Radio category for the second edition of the annual awards scheme.
The story explored challenges local farmers face, struggling to cope with unexpected changes in climate and the experience of other countries in accessing water technology for all-year round farming.
Kofi Domfeh was second runner up at the first edition of the awards instituted last year by the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA), the UN Environmental Programme (UNEP) and other partners.
Ghana’s High Commissioner to Kenya and Permanent Representative to UNEP & UN-Habitat, Kingsley Karimu, as well as Deputy Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr. Bernice Adiku Heloo, were among Ghanaian dignitaries at the Awards Gala Night.
Domfeh and two other category winners, Patrick Mayoyo Kenya and Cameroon’s Arison Tamfu from a field of 309 entrants received cash prizes, trophies and certificates for their effort.
They will also enjoy an all-expense paid trip to cover the 20th Session of the UN Summit on Climate Change later this year in Lima, Peru.
The entries were audited and judged by a panel of seven judges headed by Dr. Barrack Muluka, who at the Gala Night appealed to PACJA to partner media organizations, academic institutions and individual experts to improve writing and communication skills on climate change and environment among African journalists.
PACJA Secretary-General, Mithika Mwenda said the organization will continue to play a major role in generating innovative ideas needed to effectively confront the main challenges of 21st Century.
“These complex challenges such as climate change will require collaboration from various stakeholders to defeat and that is the spirit the ACCER Awards exemplifies,” he said.
Mr. Mwenda said the ACCER Awards partnership strengthens trust between civil society and governments in Africa.
“Indeed, this resonates with the UN call for collaboration to defeat the challenges of climate change,” he added.
African countries remain the greenest on earth, yet vulnerable to climate change caused by emissions from developed countries.
Whilst countries in Africa look at the challenges posed by climate change of socio-economic development, the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) says it would also be necessary for the continent to explore opportunities therein.
UNEP’s Director of the Africa Regional Office, Mounkaila Goumandakoye, is emphatic on renewable energy as an area to explore.