Wayanad, July 31, 2013: With the aim of facilitating a discussion about the significance of media in the field of wildlife conservation, a media workshop was held on Saturday in Bathery, in the district of Wayanad, Kerala. The workshop was organised by the Kerala State Forest Department and Wildlife Trust of India in collaboration with the Press Club of Wayanad.
Wayanad Wildlife Warden Mr. Roy P. Thomas inaugurating the workshop.
Photo credit: Jose Louies/WTI
“By bringing together the State Forest Department, representatives from both print and electronic press and spokespersons from various conservation organisations under one roof, a perceptive analysis can be made of the impact of regional media on conservation in Wayanad. The Fourth Estate is as much a stipulated stakeholder in wildlife conservation as any of the agencies working directly in the field,” said Jose Louies, Regional Head (South India), for Wildlife Trust of India, as he commented on the necessity and the magnitude of the first media workshop in the district.
With key-stone species endangered, like the elephant and tiger, and its rippling negative impact on nature, the realisation of the need of wildlife conservation has trickled down in many other sectors as well. Media - both print and electronic - plays a vital role in helping sensitise the public and making them aware, making inter-departmental cooperation between them, the Forest Departments and conservation organisations imperative and inevitable. This was also heartily discussed and unanimously agreed upon by all the participants, who shared the opinion that conservation without the support of locals, whether it be Wayanad or any other region, cannot be possible and that regional media is one of the primary sources of outreach for any conservation effort.
Discussions ensued on issues like media involvement, the guidelines needed when dealing with wildlife emergencies, and so on.
Photo credit: Ramit M/WTI
E. Somath, a veteran reporter from Malayala Manorama and one of the leading conservation media journalists in the region, highlighted the need for focusing on factual and research based reporting when it came to conservation issues. Discussions also ensued on various issues such as the importance of media’s involvement and the necessity of creating guidelines while dealing with wildlife emergencies, which was readily agreed upon by all present.