In August, IUCN Asia participated in a regional communications workshop organised by UN-REDD Programme in Bangkok, Thailand. The workshop aimed at providing UN-REDD Communications Officers and communications representatives from other organisations such as WWF, UNDP, RECOFT and TRAFFIC with a platform to exchange experiences and lessons learnt related to REDD+ communications, and also to provide an opportunity for capacity building on topics such as on-line communications, media outreach, etc.
Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) is an effort to create a financial value for the carbon stored in forests, offering incentives for developing countries to reduce emissions from forested lands and invest in low-carbon paths to sustainable development.
To promote the full and effective participation of all relevant stakeholders in REDD+ activities, it is necessary to raise the awareness about the initiative to a wide range of stakeholder groups. Because REDD+ touches on a large number of complex and technical issues, awareness raising is often difficult. Appropriate communications approaches, strategies, channels and materials are essential for this purpose.
Throughout the three-day workshop, participants exchanged lessons learned and experiences on communications and knowledge management approaches, delivered training on both web-based and traditional communications, and exchanged ideas for improved collaboration with communications professionals from other organisations.
“The workshops were very useful as it expanded my knowledge on web-based and traditional communications. It also showed me that creating new knowledge through effective knowledge sharing, collaboration and information delivery can stimulate change and innovation,” said Anushae Parakh, Programme Assistant for Mangroves for the Future.
IUCN Asia’s communications activities were also in focus at the workshop with IUCN Asia's Regional Communications Manager, Ann Moey, giving an overview of IUCN Asia corporate communications, as well as a presentation on how citizen journalism can be used to promote conservation. Her presentation included a case study on the recently concluded Mekong ARCC initiative which incorporated citizen journalism into its programme to encourage communities to be active conservation actors.
The workshop concluded with a roundtable discussion with managers from participating organisations on how to further capitalise on communication efforts and increase collaboration on conservation and development initiatives in the region.