A one day training workshop on forest management and data journalism took place in Yaounde on December 3, 2019.
From a practical exercise, it has been discovered that, in 2010, Haut Nyong division in the East region of Cameroon, had 3.59 Million hectares of tree cover, extending over 100% of its land area. In 2018, it lost 6.98 kilometre hectares of tree cover, equivalent to 3.60 million tones of carbondioxide of emissions.
These data released in the Global Forest Watch (GFW) interactive online platform have been used in illustrating the tree loss in this part of the country just like in other areas where forests are poorly managed.
The Global Forest Watch platform has been one of the various tools used during the training workshop that aimed at enhancing the skills of journalists for an improved forest monitoring. The interpretation of data, analyzes at the levels of deforestation, urbanization, wildlife and shifting agriculture just to name these few were granted to the media practitioners in school.
Besides, the Global Forest Watch platform are, the Forest watcher application and Cameroon Forest Atlas that were equally unveiled as digital tools for open data search. The selected journalists at the GFW fellowship workshop led by Madeleine Ngeunga, praised the innovative technology put at their disposal for a dynamic search through a click.
Many of these tools, mostly unknown to journalists specialized in environmental issues will henceforth curb the gaps in terms of data and information. The journalists believe that, though analyzing the data could be very technical at times, they can seek for an expert with vital information at hand.
« Global Forest Watch online platform is expected to be an added value for bringing interesting stories and act as an alert for consistent production of articles. It will help us to have data in abid to create or produce news features as we expect to closely work together to brace up challenges in the media landscape » said some trainees at the workshop.
As a positive reponse to the GFW technology, many have subscribed for updates in the areas of their choices. Participants had the opportunity to review, the cameroon forest law of 1994, the impacts of deforestation in the country and the major challenges faced by media practitioners in the course of their duties as environmental journalists.
The one day workshop being an initiative of GFW enters within the framework of the Global Forest Watch technology fellowship program launched in 2018 with the objective to recruit and train best forest advocates on GFW tools. And in Cameroon, the fellowship programme is piloted by cameroonian based data journalist, Madeleine Ngeunga, who was selected as a fellow in the ongoing programme. The fellowship intends to improve forest management in Cameroon through the training of young passionate journalists.
By Elise Kenimbeni