A training course for producing radio magazine shows on climate change was held from 23 January to 4 February, and gave the ten selected journalists the opportunity to go on reporting assignments in the Deep South of Madagascar.
The main objectives of this latest course, which ran for two weeks and formed part of the Terra Media project, were to help the ten journalists from local radio stations in Madagascar face up to the realities of producing programmes on the ground and understand the issues and actual effects of climate change.
After spending a week in Antananarivo honing their editing techniques and their abilities to find documents on the internet, the journalists were flown to the southern city of Toliara to report, from the ground, on various stories concerning the impacts of climate change, which are particularly striking in this very vulnerable part of the island.
Arnaud Jouve, an environmental journalist at RFI, the group focused on how climate change is affecting marine biodiversity and coastal life.
With the support of the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) in Toliara, the journalists compiled reports on the Protected Marine Area of Soariake by travelling to interview local people, whose lifestyles have been particularly impacted by climate change over recent years.
The next step of the journalists' journey took them to the region of Betioky in southwest Madagascar, where they looked into the issues surrounding local food security. By harnessing the expertise of Action Against Hunger (Action contre la Faim) and Agronomes et Vétérinaires Sans Frontières (Agronomists and Veterinarians Without Borders), the group was able to produce several reports on malnutrition caused by the increasing unpredictability of climatic conditions and on the impact that the adjustment policies and solutions being implemented by various operators are having on local communities.
By coming face to face with these realities on the ground, the journalists have been made aware of the full extent and severity of the damage that climate variability is causing to this particularly affected part of Madagascar.
This has made them determined to spark further debates on these issues, for which governments must also be held accountable:
"Once this course has finished, I'm going to start up a radio discussion show in order to compare viewpoints and put the spotlight on the Forgotten Deep South," concludes Tovoroy, a journalist at RMN.