Strengthening air pollution reporting in the Philippines

The media training enables journalists to accurately and knowledgeably communicate different air pollution issues to the general public

With air pollution now the world’s single greatest environmental health risk, costing millions of lives around the world each year, and with Asia bearing the brunt of the crisis, it’s imperative that the media are at the forefront of awareness-raising efforts.

To strengthen the Philippine media’s understanding of air quality issues and the complexities involved in reporting on air pollution, its sources and impacts, mitigation options, co-benefits, and data interpretation, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and Clean Air Asia held a workshop for media and government communications staff in Metro Manila from December 1.

The workshop not only empowered journalists to accurately and more effectively report on air pollution, it also enabled them to impart to the public the extent to which they are affected and inspire action for better air quality.

“The media training enables journalists to accurately and knowledgeably communicate different air pollution issues to the general public,” said Dang Espita, Senior Program Coordinator of Clean Air Asia’s Integrated Programme for Better Air Quality in Asia.

“It also examines the health and environmental impacts, policy options and the co-benefits of air quality management in reducing social costs and strengthening economic growth, and how to communicate those issues to the public.”

Journalists were also given an overview of the Philippine Clean Air Act and the work of the DENR and the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) in addressing air pollution nationally.

“The workshop was aimed at augmenting the work of the Environmental Education and Information Division of the EMB in spearheading environmental education in the country, and disseminating information on environmental and pollution matters to the DENR-EMB regional offices and the general public,” said Engineer Michiko Sibunga of the Air Quality Management Section of the EMB’s Environmental Quality Management Division.