The Asia-Pacific Forum of Environmental Journalists(APFEJ) is a network and regional association founded in 1988, dedicated to promoting education understanding and awareness of the environment through the honest and accurate reporting of local, regional and international environmental and development issues. It acts as the head of national environmental journalist forums (NFEJ) and the media organisations of 42 countries in the Asia-Pacific region.
Members use every type of medium and include journalists working for newspapers, magazines, radio, broadcasters, NGOs, environmental groups, government agencies, scientific authors, filmmakers and even freelancers.
The APFEJ adhoc committee was formed in 1985 at a regional conference on media and environment in Delhi organized by UN-ESCAP in collaboration with the UNEP.
Today, APFEJ,is the oldest and largest organization of professional environmental journalists, with over 12,000 members in nearly 150 countries around the world. The mission of APFEJ to build into a strong, independent and committed to promote excellence in environmental journalism worldwide by supporting environmental journalists, especially in the Asia Ppacific, through professionalism, freedom of expression, social responsibility, environmental justice, networking and training.
Values: Professionalism, freedom of expression, social responsibility, commitment, networking and co-operation
Vision: To build APFEJ into a strong, independent and committed apex organization to promote excellence in environmental journalism
Mission: To motivate and assist national forums and related bodies to form a strong and efficient network to promote and protect sustainable development through environmental journalism
— To create and promote awareness on environmental issues among people
— To provide journalists with information and resources in order to encourage them to write on environment
— To educate journalists on environmental reporting to enhance their professionalism and credibility
— To co-operate with other NGOs and work for the cause of protecting the environment
— To bring environmental journalism into the mainstream media
— To promote greater awareness of environmental issues and exchange of ideas and information among journalists in the Asia-Pacific region
— To organise dialogue with decision-makers in the media with a view to having greater emphasis on environmental issues
Overview of APFEJ activities:
— Support programme for national forum members
— Publication of a handbook for environmental journalists
— Specialized regional training workshops on environmental reporting
— Publication of newsletters
— Journalist exchange programmes
— Environmental news clipping service
— Clearing house on environmental information
— Seminars/workshops on environmental issues
— Introducing Best Environmental Journalist Award and Eco-tourism award
— Study tour
— Developing environmental training module
— Providing fellowships
Structure of APFEJ
APFEJ is composed of a General Body, an elected Executive Council and an elected Executive Committee. The General Body consists of all the members. The Executive Committee consists of a Chairman, Deputy Chairman, six regional directors (one each representing the regions of Central Asia. South-East Asia, West Asia, East Asia, South Asia and the Pacific), a Secretary General, an Assistant Secretary General, two auditors and seven other members. Executive Committee is elected by an Executive Council comprising of 19 members elected from three categories of membership of the General Body.
APFEJ is associated with various media groups, environmental groups, journalist’s forums and the UN agencies. Media groups include International Center for Journalists (ICFJ), Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU), Commonwealth Broadcasting Association (CBA), World Press Photo Foundation, Commonwealth Press Union etc. Environmental groups include Greenpeace, World Conservation Union (IUCN), World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Friends of the Earth etc. UN agencies include UNEP, ESCAP, UNESCO.
An Overview of APFEJ activates
- Seminar on environmental issues for Asian Journalists, May 1988 – Katmandu, Nepal
- Workshop on environmental issues in agriculture and rural development on Asia, July 1989 – New Delhi, India.
- Regional media workshop on environmentally sound and sustainable development in Asia.
- October 1989- Beijing, China Regional seminar for Asian environmental journalists,
- December 1989 – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
- Three week environmental study tour to Germany by 12 Asian journalists – August 1990
- Exchange program of APFEJ national chapters, May and June 1990 – China,Thailand, Nepal and Bangladesh.
- One month intensive course and study tour for Asian environmental Journalists in the USA 1991- Preston, Virginia, USA.
- People’s report on state of the environment in Asian countries – Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh 1991.
- Regional seminar for media in Asia, April 1992 – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, April 1992.
- Regional media workshop on reference book on the environment November 1993-Kathmandu, Nepal.
- The environmental journalists training and specialization program in Asia and the Pacific, March 1994, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia APFEJ two week fellowship for four Asian women journalists 1995-
- Chaig Mai, Thailand Asian Media/NGO congress in 1995, Thailand
- Updating and re-printing Environmental Reporting Handbook- 1996 International workshop of environmental journalists, November 1996, Cebu, Philippines.
- Asia Pacific editors workshop, July 1996 Beijing, China