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Experts discuss climate change at Türkiye’s 1st environment forum

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ISTANBUL, TURKIYE - Turkish Vice President, Fuat Oktay speaks at the Anadolu Agency’s Environment Forum in Istanbul, Turkiye on October 20, 2022. (İsa Terli - Anadolu Agency)
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Oct 20, 2022 - 01:06 PM

ISTANBUL (AA) – Experts on Thursday gathered in Istanbul at Türkiye’s first environment forum organized by Anadolu Agency to discuss climate change.

“Climate change is not just a story of science,” said Peter Prengaman, global climate and environmental news editor at The Associated Press addressing the session on Clean Energy for Sustainable Development.

The session was moderated by Suay Nilhan Acikalin, a professor at Ankara-based Haci Bayram Veli University.

Prengaman explained to the audience how his 20-strong team covers climate change, adding that it is part of various aspects from business to lifestyle and that media “needs to cover that in that way.”

Noting that the AP launched its climate environment team earlier this year, Prengaman said: “We had covered environment, just like other news agencies before, but what changed was we broke it out into a separate department to really cover all aspects, including energy.”

“Our team went from six at the beginning of the year to about 20. Now, we’re all over the world and by about January will be about 25 and 26,” he added. “As you all know, climate change is very complicated. And there are lots of different aspects and expertise.”

Pointing out that their coverage, from the US to Bangladesh and Kenya, on climate has increased incredibly since the department’s launch, he said: “We have several stories every day, different aspects and environments. We are on the ground and in lots of places. We are covering spot news.”

The AP has also launched a large news series on climate migration, he said, adding: “20 million people more or less around the world every year are forced to move because of climate change.”

He said that although climate change might be the second or third reason of migration, it is important “to dig into the lives of individuals and families all over the world and tell their stories.”

For his part, Eyyup Karahan, the general director of environment and chairman of the board of the Turkish Environment Agency, thanked Anadolu Agency for organizing the forum.

“The climate crisis is a global problem and its solution must be global,” he said.

He also mentioned Türkiye’s first lady Emine Erdogan, who has spearheaded the nation’s Zero Waste project since 2017.

For her part, Majda Tafra Vlahovic, the head of the supervisory board of Croatian News Agency gave examples of environmental catastrophes around the world.

The one-day forum aims to tackle issues such as the need to create a new media language on environmental and climate issues, international news agencies raising global awareness, the duties of traditional and new media outlets, and the pursuit of environmental awareness in new news areas.

Among the forum’s international participants are Portugal’s former Minister of Europe Bruno Macaes, Deputy Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC Ovais Sarmad, CEO and General Director of Italian news agency ANSA Stefano De Alessandri, climate director of Spain’s EFE Agency Arturo Larena.

The Environment Forum can be followed live by registering at its website at environment.aa.com.tr.

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