Saturday, October 25, 2008

Climate Change Seminar for Samoan Media

APIA (SPREP) - The basics of climate change were explained to representatives of the Samoan media during a lunch hour seminar earlier this week.
The seminars acknowledge the important role of the media in disseminating information on this issue of critical importance to the Pacific.
It is hoped that a better-informed media that will ultimately result in a better-informed public on climate change issues.
The Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), in conjunction with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of the Government of Samoa (MNRE) and the Journalists Association of Samoa (JAWS) worked together to stage the Climate Change Media Seminar.
Annie Rasmussen, the Principal Climate Change Officer of MNRE made a presentation on the work that has been undertaken in Samoa to adapt to climate change, along with some of the challenges faced. Espen Ronneberg, SPREP’s Climate Change Adviser, provided the journalists with the basic knowledge on climate change and some of the work being carried out at the regional level. “I think it went quite well - we tried to bring across the key climate change messages in a non-technical manner.
We explained impacts on Samoa and the Pacific Islands Countries, tried to explain some of the issues for reporting, that mitigation is minimal in global terms but sends a political message of importance - 33% by 2015, and that the global scientific community agree that it is happening, it is feasible and economical to take action.
Adaptation is possible, but it is critical that action begin now” according to Ronneberg.”Both Ronneberg and Rasmussen stressed that adaptation must be done in a sustainable manner acceptable to the community.Representatives from a large number of media organisations throughout Samoa were present for the climate change media seminar.

*JAWS acknowledges the assistance of Nanette Woonton, Espen Ronnerberg and Anne Rasmussen.

Samoa Observer launches new website

Samoa Observer, one of the founding members of JAWS launched its newly revamped website two days ago. The website presents the same content from its print publication but with a more interactive approach. JAWS congratulates Samoa Observer on the new site. You can find it at

IFJ Expresses Concern Over Restrictions on Independent Reporting in Samoa

SYDNEY - The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) expresses concern at reports of controls over the release of information to the media about a high profile inquiry into a senior official, thus infringing on the rights of the Samoan public to be informed.
Guidelines imposed by Ombudsman Maiava Iulai Toma on reporting the Commission of Inquiry into alleged gun smuggling involving the Police Commissioner and others have drawn criticism from journalists and the independent media, the Journalists Association of (Western) Samoa (JAWS) reports. The restrictions severely limit the provision of information or reporting on the Commission’s activities.
Last week the Samoa Observer reportedly ceased its coverage of the Commission in protest at the restrictions.
“It is the media’s job to report any investigation into alleged unlawful activities of senior officials in the public interest,” the IFJ Asia-Pacific said.
“Any action by the courts or government to hinder this duty directly impedes media freedom in Samoa.”
The IFJ supports a call by JAWS for the Ombudsman to adhere to the principles of media freedom by providing open access to information on the Commission.
For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +612 9333 0919
The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 120 countries worldwide

* The statement was issued at the request of JAWS