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Media urged to give priority to bio-diversity

By Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, Oct 19 � This could well be a wake up call to journalists in Assam, with an appeal being circulated that the media should treat biodiversity as a priority issue. The International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), and IUCN have jointly urged the media to be more aware about biodiversity loss and the need for its conservation.

�Journalists need more training and greater access to sources and information if they are to effectively tell an under-reported story that has profound implications for livelihoods, health and businesses the world over � �the silent decline in the planet�s biological resources,� said Mike Shanahan of the IIED in an official statement.

�The declining status of the Earth�s natural riches threatens to undermine the future prospects of all people, but so far this story has gone unreported, and outside of professional circles very few people are even aware of what is at stake,� he said.

�Journalists generally consider biodiversity loss to be a less urgent issue than climate change or the economy,� says Alison Coleman, IUCN Regional Communications Officer. �The media needs to do a better job of explaining its importance to economies, livelihoods and people�s health,� she added.

The appeal has relevance in Assam, as it is part of a biodiversity rich region, encapsulating both rare and endangered flora and fauna. A recent report by WWF India states that the area north of the river Brahmaputra is among the regions which have the highest floristic biodiversity in the world.

A senior forest official said that the appeal could well translate into better awareness not just among people at the grassroots but also among forest personnel who at times need to be reminded of the natural heritage they protect.

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Media urged to give priority to bio-diversity

GUWAHATI, Oct 19 � This could well be a wake up call to journalists in Assam, with an appeal being circulated that the media should treat biodiversity as a priority issue. The International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), and IUCN have jointly urged the media to be more aware about biodiversity loss and the need for its conservation.

�Journalists need more training and greater access to sources and information if they are to effectively tell an under-reported story that has profound implications for livelihoods, health and businesses the world over � �the silent decline in the planet�s biological resources,� said Mike Shanahan of the IIED in an official statement.

�The declining status of the Earth�s natural riches threatens to undermine the future prospects of all people, but so far this story has gone unreported, and outside of professional circles very few people are even aware of what is at stake,� he said.

�Journalists generally consider biodiversity loss to be a less urgent issue than climate change or the economy,� says Alison Coleman, IUCN Regional Communications Officer. �The media needs to do a better job of explaining its importance to economies, livelihoods and people�s health,� she added.

The appeal has relevance in Assam, as it is part of a biodiversity rich region, encapsulating both rare and endangered flora and fauna. A recent report by WWF India states that the area north of the river Brahmaputra is among the regions which have the highest floristic biodiversity in the world.

A senior forest official said that the appeal could well translate into better awareness not just among people at the grassroots but also among forest personnel who at times need to be reminded of the natural heritage they protect.