UNEP’s Governing Council has on numerous occasions highlighted the need to involve major stakeholders such as parliamentarians, the judiciary, women, Journalists and youth group in its work because of their unique role in the society. This is entrenched within its’ mission to provide and encourage access to environmental information to contribute to sustainable development.
In the context of this mission and to consolidate the experience journalists in environmental reporting, UNEP assisted in the establishment of the African Network of Environmental Journalists which set up to build partnership and a strategic alliance, in support of public awareness and education programmes in the field of environment in Africa.
The network has been instrumental in facilitating environmental information sharing in the region. This network is also meant to play a critical role as a vital element of the communications strategy of the African Environmental Information Network, a network being established to serve as the substantive support to the publication of the Africa Environment Outlook Report (AEO). Since the establishment of the African Network for Environmental Journalists in 2002, a series of training workshops have been held to help build the capacity for environmental reporting. Each training session has a focal theme on an environmental issue pertinent to Africa.
The “African Network of Environmental Journalists” (ANEJ) was set up with the following objectives:
Mainstream Environmental Journalism in Africa;
Enhance the capacity of African Journalists to deal with new and emerging environmental challenges;
Disseminate relevant information on environmental issues in the region;
Promote web journalism on environment and sustainable development in Africa;
Influence decision- making process with regard to environmental policies in Africa;
Provide extra leverage for the dissemination of environmental information in the region.
The work programme of ANEJ is structured into four main fields: