25 Nov 2011
The real debates in climate change are around the solutions/false solutions, said environmental activist, Rehana Dada. For example, what is happening with carbon trading? Has it actually resulted in emissions reductions?
REDD, is another example of an issue that is not critically appraised, contended Dada. (REDD stands for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation - it is a UN programme that is controversial for its negative impact on poor and indigenous peoples). When it was adopted in Cancun there were a series of positive articles about it in the media, said Dada.
The South African media is not engaging with these complex issues.
Importantly, Dada argued that it is very critical to be talking about climate adaptations with respect to basic service delivery, i.e., making sure that people have access to food, water, affordable energy and so on.
Dada made these remarks at a roundtable discussion, which sought to ascertain how the South African media is reporting on climate change in the run up to COP17. The roundtable was co-hosted by the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung South Africa Office and the South African Civil Society Information Service. It took place on November 11, 2011.
Keynote speakers at the event included: Brendan Boyle (Editor, Daily Dispatch), Sue Blaine (Environment and Development Editor, Business Day), Prof. Herman Wasserman, (Deputy Head of the School of Journalism and Media Studies at Rhodes University), Bobby Peek (Director, Groundwork) and Saliem Fakier (Head of the Living Planet Unit at the World Wildlife Fund and SACSIS columnist).