- The work of six environmental journalists from South America and Africa was recognized and honored at the annual meeting of the Society of Environmental Journalists (SEJ) in Baltimore, Maryland earlier this month. The journalists are all winners of the fourth-annual Biodiversity Reporting Award, sponsored by Conservation International (CI), the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) and the International Federation of Environmental Journalists (IFEJ), which recognizes and rewards excellence in biodiversity coverage.
Honored at the event were Juan Carlos Rivero from El Deber in Bolivia, Liana John from Brazil’s Agencia Estado in Brazil, Juan Carlos Gutiérrez from Vanguardia Liberal in Colombia, Joachim Ayitey from the League of Environmental Journalists in Ghana, Andrew Richards of Guyana’s Kaieteur News and Walter Wust from EcoNews in Peru.
During the three-day event, the journalists met with Congressmen, the Governor of Maryland and some of the country’s top environmental researchers and reporters. Some of the winners also led a panel about the growing importance of environmental journalism abroad. More than 1,000 journalists and researchers from across the country attended the annual SEJ meeting, making it the largest and most important gathering of its kind in the US.
“It was incredibly beneficial for us – as US and Canadian reporters – to have international environmental journalists share their stories,” said SEJ President James Bruggers. “I think we now have a better understanding of some of the complex issues foreign environmental reporters are facing.”
This year’s Biodiversity Reporting Award was held in six countries and saw record-level participation, as 115 journalists, representing 68 media outlets, submitted 219 articles. The Award is made possible by financing from the Virginia W. Cabot Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the JRS Dryfoos Charitable Trust and the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF).