Climate Media Collaborative for Economic Justice and Community Rights

Climate and Community Rights 

Advocacy for the promotion of increased media visibility of the effects of resource extraction and agribusiness expansion, loss of land, forests, water etc. on communities and their contributions to the climate crisis.  

Through credible digital storytelling on unsustainable exploitation of resources and model private sector leadership on climate change, the stories of communities will be told, as well as initiate and launch gender-based food shed assessments within the context of climate change and ecosystem management. This advocacy will then facilitate national and subnational dialogues on climate change on sand winning and quarrying in urban and peri-urban centers in two hubs in Ghana. There will also be support for the development of murals and artwork by youth academics to showcase the dangers of climate change. 

Background

We are in a climate emergency that is wreaking havoc across the globe, and it is the poorest communities that are paying the heaviest price, despite having done the least to contribute to the crisis. Governments and corporations are waking up to the threat of climate change, but their targets and commitments to limit further global warming are still inadequate. Instead of delivering near-term and tangible climate action, some seek to rely on large-scale removal of emissions that would dramatically increase demand for land, once more shifting the burden of mitigation onto the poorest. At the same time, deforestation and environmental degradation is increasing at alarming levels and many COVID-19 economic recovery plans are banking on attracting agribusiness and extractive industry investments that can generate conflicts with local communities and violate their rights.  

Unfortunately, the stories of communities on the front lines of the climate crisis – navigating resource extraction and agribusiness expansion, and grappling with the loss of land, forests, and water are rarely “on the front page” of the news in the words of Ugandan climate activist Vanessa Nakate. When these communities receive coverage, it is often extractive in-and-of itself: produced for a global audience, not designed for solving a local problem. And the local reality is often not portrayed in a way that supports community rights or needs. These inequalities in media coverage restrain local action in the Global South on climate justice, while also limiting the efficacy and reach of international calls to action.  

In Ghana, environmental degradation costs the country about US$6.3 billion per annum and about 11% of Gross Domestic Product (2017 benchmark) according to the World Bank. This threatens natural capital, disrupts livelihoods as agricultural lands are scarred up to 0.9% of GDP (2017 benchmarks) and widen the scale of climate crisis.  

As a resource-dependent economy, addressing this gap is thus paramount. This is what informed this project’s intention to promote media visibility of the climate degradation and stir public debate and ultimately government policy reforms. The urban and peri-urban centers will be the main areas to showcase the issues through audiovisual content and public advocacy.  

The project will work with partners with expertise in structural change reforms and with expertise in inclusive development; Youth incubators and start-up firms; Civil Society movements and coalitions; multi-lateral organizations; public and state authorities; academia and media consultancy organizations.