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On the 10th of February 2014, Climate Action Network South Asia in collaboration with the Sri Lanka Press Institute launched the inaugural training series, ‘Training on Climate Change and Development Journalism’ for Sri Lankan journalists, CSOs and climate activists. While the primary intent of the workshop rallied around communicating climate change to the public, it also emphasised greatly on Sri Lanka’s energy crisis and the need to act now.

 The Workshop had speakers belonging to both the National Steering Committee and climate change NGOs. The sessions included: 
    • “Our Energy Future” – A presentation by Mr. Asoka Abeygunawardena, Adviser to the Ministry of Technology and Research, former adviser to Ministry of Energy, on Sri Lanka’s energy consumption and the road to development.
    • “Sri Lanka’s Tea at Threat” – A presentation on one of Sri Lanka’s primary exports, tea and the impact of climate on its production by Mr. Ranga Pallawala, Member of Expert Committee on Climate Change Adaptation of Sri Lanka.
    • Introduction to the latest IPCC report and its implications to South Asia.
    • “Working on Climate Change and Development in Sri Lanka” – A discussion open to the floor on the challenges and possible climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies.

‘It is without doubt that we consider the Workshop fruitful, as we were able to respond to queries raised by journalists with regard to communicating climate change to the general public, and there has also been much correspondence following the event.’ Vositha Wijeanayake, Southern Voices South Asia Regional Facilitator and CANSA Outreach and Advocacy Coordinator said.

The main cost for the Workshop included lunch for all participants as the event was held at the Sri Lanka Press Institute auditorium.

‘We also hired a professional photographer to help document the event better. The photographer was able to capture attention grabbing images which would not have been a possibile had we not made use of a photographer who was willing to devote time at a low cost. This has made it easier for us to share our event to a wider audience.' Vositha continued.

The project commenced as a pilot and is intended to be replicated in other countries where partnerships with organisations or networks similar to the Sri Lanka Press Institute can be developed which would help in organising events with more expertise, but a low budget.

Published works by other media organisations following the workshop: 

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High 5 @ Asia & Pacific

Regional Facilitator, Asia & Pacific

profile vosithaVositha Wijenayake

Vositha joined Climate Action Network (CAN) South Asia in early 2013 as Advocay and Outreach Officer.

Vositha is a CAN Leadership Development Program Fellow (2012-) and former Executive Coordinator of the Sri Lankan Youth Climate Action Network (SLYCAN).

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