In just decades, Africa has lost hundreds of thousands of elephants, lions and rhinos to poaching, poisoning and habitat destruction. Rainforests have been burnt into charcoal and coral reefs have been blasted by dynamite fishing. In a continent desperate to grow out of poverty, development trumps conservation, even if it decimates irreplaceable natural treasures.

Giving a voice to the truly voiceless – the world’s last population of mega fauna and the people living amongst them, is the goal of the Aga Khan University’s environmental reporting project. Local media coverage of complex environmental issues is generally sporadic and superficial, devoid of nuance and scientific context. Even the better-resourced media outlets rarely feature environmental reporting that is illuminating, intelligent, and impactful.

Working with media houses and independent filmmakers, the distinguished faculty of the Graduate School of Media and Communication will train local journalists to research and produce compelling in-depth reports on Africa’s most urgent environmental crises. Without information and context the local population cannot understand how ecological destruction will degrade their own lives. Only local voices can create the popular groundswell that will goad lawmakers to act, before it’s too late.

It is with pride and pleasure, therefore, that we invite journalists to submit proposals for environmental reporting projects that will make a difference. They can be TV documentaries, short web videos or long-form investigative reports aimed at local or global news markets.

Winners will receive funding and support from the GSMC, including a scholarship to a special week-long workshop on environmental reporting.

Proposals are welcome for any country in East Africa and should be no longer than one page. Those received by May 30, 2016 will be given preference.

They should include:
A clear description of the project.
A timeline: when would you start, and conclude, your work.
Operational details about how you would staff and execute the project and, if applicable, a history of other projects you have done.
A proposed budget.
Biographical information or CV.

Please submit all proposals to contact@givingnatureavoice.org For further information, visit our website at givingnatureavoice.org.

Working with our distinguished global faculty of correspondents, editors and filmmakers, you can help East Africans (and the world) to better understand the critical issues facing us. Help create the popular momentum for change we so urgently need, before it’s too late.

Website by Appropriate. Photos by Georgina Goodwin.