Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) officially launched the Africa Climate Change & Environmental Reporting (ACCER) 2018 Awards on 5 June 2018. The launch coincided with the World Environment day 2018, a strategic platform as it answered the ‘Why” for our concern on matters climate change. Media is therefore a critical advocacy tool for climate action and an influencer of public perception. This competition for African nationals based in the continent welcomes entries from journalists creating content on climate & environmental issues targeting first, an African audience and the global audience.

These awards scheme on its fourth edition, acknowledges journalists who dedicate their time and resources chasing stories and highlighting critical environmental issues that help to bring out the plight of the poor and the marginalized in battling various aspects of climate-related impacts, highlight national policy interventions in addressing environmental issues, and showcase best practices and innovative solutions, and lessons learnt in the overall global discourses and interventions.

African journalists are encouraged to participate in this competition and ensure that as the information hub, their stories, photos and publications are tools to educate the public. Issues around climate change and environmental conservation have been ignore for the longest time with focus shifting to more to political reporting.

Africa is an increasingly important part of the global story, and ACCER Awards reflects this. We are committed to the African story, not just editorially, but also in terms of supporting its own journalistic enterprise through these awards. This is a long-term commitment to Africa and there is no better example of that than ACCER Awards.

The call for entries into the ACCER Awards 2018 officially commenced on 5 June 2018 and is open to African journalists in print, radio, television, photojournalism and online (multi-media). Speaking at the event, Mithika Mwenda, Secretary General, PACJA appeal to the fourth estate to take up environmental reporting seriously as it affects us all directly. “When the environment is not safe, all of us are not safe. We should find creative ways of packaging solutions to these menace of climate change. I urge you all to submit your entries soonest since this marks the official launch of the competition until 5 August 2018.”

Potential awardees will present direct entries with brief citations demonstrating how their journalism may have practically enhanced access to information delivery in a specified area in either English or French. An independent panel of judges carefully selected will review the entries and make a decision on the winners and runners-up for each Award category.

Since the first Awards in 2013, the competition has grown in size and status to become Africa’s most prestigious climate and environmental reporting. This is indicative of how meaningful climate and environmental reporting is for the advancement of outstanding journalism across the continent. Remarkably, out of the 12 finalists in 2016 edition that was held in Addis Ababa, three were women. A great improvement from the 2013 edition where there was none.

This year Nairobi, Kenya, will host the fourth edition of the awards. It is open to journalists working in any medium, and the competition will recognize excellence in the following categories:

  • Climate Smart Agriculture & Agroforestry Awards
  • Climate Policy, Governance & Transparency Award
  • Innovative Solutions for the Environment Awards
  • Climate Finance Award
  • Environment Protection & Conservation Award

From these categories, an independent judging panel will choose the finalists for the 2018 competition who will participate in The ACCER Awards Finalist Academy( TAAFA), a finalists’ programme that will include a media forum and networking opportunities with senior journalists, editors, and media owners from across the continent, culminating in a gala awards ceremony later in the year.

The ACCER Awards overall winner will receive: Cash reward of USD 1000, full sponsorship (including return air ticket, accommodation and other living expenses) to UN Climate Change Conference of Parties on 3 – 4 December 2018 in Katowice, Poland, totaling US$5,000; Fellowship to participate in high-level climate change & environmental reporting training courtesy of ACCER Awards Partnership.

This year, the competition has become even easier for journalists to enter, with submissions made via the email on acceraward@pacja.org .

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