Biodiversity Media Alliance links journalists with the web of life

04 June 2010 | News story

Journalists worldwide now have a vital new resource to help their reporting on the world’s biodiversity, what its decline means for humanity, and how it can be tackled.

The Biodiversity Media Alliance’s online network is building bridges between journalists and the sources of information they need to tell this story well.

More than 500 biodiversity experts have already joined the network ahead of its official launch today, World Environment Day (5 June). They include scientists, policymakers, non-governmental organisation staff and indigenous people from some the most biodiverse parts of our planet.

The Biodiversity Media Alliance is a new partnership between the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), Internews and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) which aims to boost the quantity and quality of media coverage of biodiversity around the world.

The new online network will enable journalists and biodiversity experts to interact and share their news and views about biodiversity issues.

“This is a critical period for biodiversity, with crucial international treaty talks taking place later in the year and new reports emphasizing the importance and challenge of protecting the web of life around us,” says James Fahn, Director of Internews’ Earth Journalism Network. “But even in this, the International Year of Biodiversity, coverage of these issues in the mainstream media has been scarce. We hope that this new online resource will help to change that.”

Mike Shanahan of IIED adds: “Our health, security and prosperity all depend on nature’s riches but these riches are disappearing fast. As a species we bite the hand that feeds us when we forget that we are part of the web of life and allow our life-support systems — such as forests and coral reefs — to decline so fast. Journalists have a key role to play in reporting this situation because it affects the future of everyone on the planet.”

Keith A. Wheeler, Chair of the Commission on Education and Communication of IUCN highlights: "Today's challenges are moving towards more sustainable financial and energy systems, food security and international security - all these challenges ultimately depend on the services nature offers. Managing knowledge between conservationists and journalists plays a key role in communicating the urgency for change, showing change is possible, providing examples that can be followed and creating new alliances. IUCN supports the new initiative of the Biodiversity Media Alliance".

For more information, visit the website or contact:

  • James Fahn, Executive Director of Internews’ Earth Journalism Network, jfahn@internews.org, +1-202-772-5738
  • Mike Shanahan, Press Officer, International Institute for Environment and Development, mike.shanahan@iied.org, +44 207 3882117
  • Alison Coleman, Regional Communications Officer, IUCN Regional Office for Pan-Europe, alison.coleman@iucn.org, +32 2 739 0321
  • Katalin Czippán, Regional Chair for the Commission on Education and Communication of IUCN, czippank@vnet.hu, + 36 30 2507857