Number of participants: 20
Number of feedback forms received: 20
VENUE & ACCOMMODATION:
Umgeni Valley Nature Reserve in Howick was excellent. The conference room suited our needs and was intimate. Also being a nature reserve and environment education centre, the best case studies were readily available . All the participants stayed at the venue which made it easy to do classes and activities on time.
At the venue there is a recycling station, a lot of sustainable livelihood technologies and game which complimented the environment training well.
EVALUATION OF THE PRESENTATIONS
- The presentations were very good, quite interactive, informative and empowering.
- Most of the presentations had visual aids and reading material which was amazing and helped tell the story.
- There were also group and individual presentations from the participants
- Each topic covered had an assignment to be done as home work which helped keep the participants on their toes.
- The field trips to the reserve, the river and to Wayne Peddie’s farm also helped a lot for they showed that the training was not only text book material but was real.
- At the River the participants saw the effects of soil erosion, the diminishing water levels as well as water pollution.
TRIP TO A FARM
At Wayne’s farm which was the favourite of many, the media was impressed on how the Peddie family was living in a sustainable way, they got to be intimate with some of the most amazing environmentally friendly and sustainable initiatives & technologies, from the solar panel, the wind energy, JOJO tanks, composts, gardens, small refrigerator, wonderbags just to name a few.
EVALUATION OF THE PRESENTERS
The presenters showed great flair in their work. They had the information at their fingertips and were quite comfortable in front of the journalists. All their presentation styles were unique from each other but they managed to drive the message home engaged with their audience. They also managed to engage and answer all the questions.
EVALUATION OF THE ENTIRE EMPOWERMENT SESSION
Despite having to cut the number of participants due to logistical problems, The EcoMedia empowerment session was a major success. It achieved its objectives which were to empower, capacitate and mobilize the media around reporting environmental and sustainable livelihoods issues and topics in an objective and positive way, help them have an understanding of how to identify environmental stories and cover them fairly and objectively.
- History of People and the Environment & population Growth This is to evaluate how the environment has declined over time.
- The state of the environment, the 9 planetary boundaries and Environmental This was to make the media have an understanding of the strains that the environment is facing right now and brainstorm on whether is it too late to act.
- Role of media in environment and sustainable living The topic was meant to challenge the media to play a role
- Environmental ethics and legislation, Environmental Justice This topic made the media have an understanding that a sustainable clean environment is supported by the constitution and a number of legislations and policies
- Coastal Management What is the situation on our seas and why should people be concerned with the life at sea. However the participants seem not to grasp this topic well as the presenter rushed through her presentation and could not answer clearly some of the questions raised.
- Understanding environmental language and Reporting, decoding environmental jargon/ terms Environment language is at times too scientific for the media or the laymen. It was a fun exercise defining and explaining some the commonly used environment jargon
- ENVIRONMENT CONSERVATION VS ECONOMY AND POVERTY What comes first the environment or the economy, how do we balance the conservation, poverty and economic growth. This was the most debated topic as the participants argued on what should be prioritised, the economy or the environment.
- WATER There is a theory that in years to come, water will be a reason for war and another that South African may run out of clean fresh water if nothing is done urgently, more than 2/3 of the earth is covered in water yet there are people who still don’t have access to clean fresh water. What is the water situation in South Africa and how can we save, minimise pollution and also clean our rivers
- CONSUMERISM, WASTE MANAGEMENT AND RECYCLING After watching the Story of Stuff, Mfanuwenkosi from the Department of Environment emptied his big plastic bag of his home garbage and explained how he recycle and the best products to buy that can be reused. His presentation was one of the most popular for it had tangible examples of recycled stuff like handbags, mats, flower vases made out of waste
GROUP DISCUSSIONS & REPORT BACK
- The session was also meant to encourage debate on environmental issues and that is exactly what happened.
- Now what is left is for the debate to be taken to the airwaves, newspapers and social media including the general public.
- The group discussions were quite engaging and participants went all out to put out great and well researched presentations. The group members worked well together and it reflected in their presentations.
- The media was quite excited about the empowerment session. According to the feedback forms, all the participants found the session quite informative and empowering.
- They also asked that there be frequent sessions and more time to allow in-depth presentations and more vigorous discussions.
- Most of them have since done interesting stories on the environment back at their work places