Journalists from across the Mekong region met villagers, government officials and NGOs to understand and write stories about the costs and benefits of the Don Sahong dam. Mekong Partnership for the Environment partner Cambodia Institute for Media Studies convened 20 local and four regional journalists in Stung Treng from May 26-28 to learn about the dam and it’s effect on communities, the environment and the dolphin and fish populations.
The event “Investigative Reporting Skills on Don Sahong Dam and Reporting on Environmental Impact and EIA Safeguard Policies” also featured discussion of Cambodian safeguard policies and a government presentation about Cambodia’s efforts to strengthen their EIA and public participation policies.
The journalists met with Cambodian government officials, non-governmental organizations, and affected communities and visited ecotourism sites that may be affected by the construction. Members of the Regional Technical Working Group on EIA, facilitated by MPE, from the NGO Forum on Cambodia and the Cambodian Ministry of the Environment presented and took questions from the journalists.
The event is the kick-off event for CIMS, who is establishing the first-ever Cambodian environmental journalist network, as part of their grant with MPE. The network will bring together journalists from across Cambodia to help them connect and find opportunities to improve their reporting. The new network is being established by MPE journalism training alumni, and as this nascent network develops, MPE aims to connect them with other networks in the region, all of whom have partnered with MPE on grants, training and stories.
Several stories have already been produced based on the training, including a piece focusing on the dam’s impacts on rare dolphins and villagers, published on the front page of the print edition of The Nation in Thailand, with a follow up article the following week. Local reporters also covered the event, including this piece in FanKhmer.
The event was part of the Mekong Matters Journalism Network’s efforts to support environmental journalism in the region. The Mekong Eye is a portal for Mekong Matters and other environmental stories from the region.
Page one story from a workshop participant in May 30 issue of The Nation (Source: MPE)
This is a public relations announcement from Mekong Partnership for the Environment (MPE), a non-profit project which is a key supporter of The Mekong Eye.