Internews’ Earth Journalism Network (EJN) is seeking to award 10 journalists with grants of up to $1,200 to produce in-depth biodiversity and conservation feature stories in East Africa.
East Africa is a global biodiversity conservation priority, but systematic conservation planning is hampered by the absence of a comprehensive understanding of the most prevalent biodiversity threats in the region.
There are known data gaps in understanding the top threats to biodiversity in many regions of sub-Saharan Africa, including East Africa. Improved awareness of the regional and sub-regional threats would help local and regional conservation projects and policymakers successfully address these threats, and ensure their strategies to ensure conservation and the sustainable use of biodiversity are more effective.
The stories, besides appearing in the successful journalists’ platforms, will also be showcased in the newly launched Biodiversity Knowledge Hub, led by EJN’s East Africa Wildlife Journalism project to improve media coverage of environment issues in Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania, and Rwanda.
This opportunity is part of EJN’s East Africa Wildlife Journalism project, which is supported by funding from the US Department of the Interior (DOI) and the US Agency for International Development (USAID).
- Story pitches must demonstrate an understanding of the importance of biodiversity in East Africa and region-specific threats to biodiversity conservation.
- EJN welcomes story ideas on East Africa’s charismatic megafauna but encourage applicants to consider pitching under-reported stories on other animal species, threatened birds, insects, plants or fungi as well.
- Stories should demonstrate how human activity and people’s knowledge, beliefs, and customs either protect or harm biodiversity.
- For instance, stories could focus on ongoing threats to East African biodiversity from natural habitat loss and degradation (especially from agricultural expansion to cultivate annual and perennial crops); logging and wood harvesting in natural forests; direct overexploitation of wildlife and fishery species (including from hunting and trade), and the spread of certain non-native invasive species.
- EJN welcomes stories that explore how decline and loss of biodiversity are reducing nature’s contributions to people in Africa and how transformational development pathways based on “green” and “blue” economies can enable human well-being improvements that do not come at the expense of the environment.
- EJN expects to award up to 10 grants with an average budget of US$1,200 each.
- Journalists from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda are welcome to apply. All applicants are strongly encouraged, but not mandated, to complete EJN’s online course on biodiversity before submitting their proposal to EJN.
- Groups of journalists are eligible. However, the application must be made in the name of one lead applicant. Lead applicants are responsible for communicating with EJN and receiving funds on the group’s behalf, if awarded.
- For the purposes of this grant opportunity, EJN will only be accepting applications in English. Unfortunately, EJN does not have the capacity to consider applications in other languages at this time. Applicants must either have a working understanding of English or have a translator available to assist with communication with Internews staff.
- Applications are open to journalists working in any medium (online, print, television, radio) and other expert media practitioners with professional reporting experience. Photojournalists and multimedia practitioners with published visual work are also eligible. EJN welcomes applications from experienced reporters with a track record of covering environmental and climate issues. Experience in investigative reporting, particularly on wildlife or biodiversity issues, is preferred.
- EJN encourages applications from freelance reporters and staff from all types of media organizations – international, national, local and community-based.
- EJN reserves the right to disqualify applicants from consideration if they have been found to have engaged in unethical or improper professional conduct.
For more information, visit https://earthjournalism.net/opportunities/east-africa-biodiversity-story-grants