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Radio broadcasters reaffirm commitments to protect earth

11 December 2009

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The World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters, AMARC, has issued a statement to COP 15, reaffirming its commitment to adopt best practice for promoting environmentally sustainable development. It also calls on nations to rethink over the current development model and extend support to the local community media.

We, as community broadcasters, are acutely aware that dominant patterns of production and consumption are causing environmental devastation, resource depletion and extinction of species.

The benefits of development are not shared equitably and the gap between rich and poor is widening. Injustice, poverty, ignorance and violence are to be found everywhere, and cause great suffering to people and to the natural environment.

In treating information as a commodity and not as a right of peoples, the mainstream media pay more attention to short term gain and the interests of the powerful.

Thus, the environmental agenda has been reduced to the fatalities and catastrophes when in reality the environmental crisis is also the moral crisis of an economic system and of our political and social institutions.

We believe it is necessary to reaffirm the social responsibility of the media to act in the public interest and to defend the most vulnerable and we encourage community media to promote environmentally sustainable development.

We commit ourselves to:

• Uphold the right of everyone to receive clear and timely information on environmental issues, and on development plans that may affect us, or in which we have an interest.

• Adopt the climate change agenda so that communities we work with in different parts of the world have quality information that enables them to take more effective action and to demand those in power adopt policies to mitigate the causes of climate change.

• Strengthen the standards of environmental reporting and build the capacity of environmental communicators at local and community level.

• Support civil society at local, regional and global levels, and promote the participation of all individuals and organisations in decision making that affects their lives and livelihoods.

• Protect and exercise the right to freedom of opinion, expression, association and dissent to rethink new, more just, more equitable and more sustainable models of development.

• Strengthen local communities capacity to take care of our environment.

• Adopt best practice in our own activities with respect to environmental management and promote a carbon neutral community media sector.

We call on governments, international and multilateral organisations to promote the existence and development of community media that serve those populations most excluded from development and those most affected by the consequences of climate change; to establish mechanisms and adequate economic investment for local community media to realise their full potential in order to build informed societies that are conscious of the need to implement local actions to mitigate the global phenomenon of climate change.

Likewise we call on the nations of the world to rethink the current development model which is the leading cause of climate change, and to establish new economic, political, social and ethical systems that improve the distribution of wealth and assure a more rational and sustainable use of natural resources.

Source : AMARC

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