Radio Training for Promoting Environmental Awareness in Khammouane

As part of its Environmental Education and Communication Strategy, ProCEEd organized a radio training workshop in Thakek, Khammouane from 26 to 30 May, 2014. For a week, professional trainers from Lao National Radio (LNR) headquarters in Vientiane assisted by a development communication specialist from Germany provided both basic radio journalism and practice-oriented learning-by-doing on how to produce attractive environmental news and features. The 30 trainees were radio reporters from Radio Thakek and Radio Boualapha as well as provincial and district level staff of government and mass organizations specialized in or interested in promoting environment issues. Together, these participants intend to establish a weekly 30-minutes radio magazine similar to the national LNR program “For the Environment”, which is also supported by ProCEEd and broadcast every Monday from 8:00 to 8:30 in the morning.


During the training, participants first learned basic information about environmental issues, particularly regarding the Hin Nam Nor National Protected Area (NPA). In part of the NPA, MoNRE in cooperation with GIZ are running a project pursuing an innovative co-management approach based on shared responsibility of government agencies and local communities concerning natural resources management. The LNR trainers the shared their vast experience and skills in script writing for news and features, presenting a radio show, radio spot production and interview techniques. The latter also entailed ‘voxpop’, a fast and short type of interview that provides an easy opportunity for ordinary people to voice their opinion on everyday subject matters.


After three days of in-class sessions with practical exercises, participants were divided into three teams. For a whole day, each group applied what they had learned in a real-life field practice in Thakek. They collected information and conducted expert and voxpop interviews on a simple research question: “Why Have Trees in Thakek?” Each team comprised a mix of journalists and government specialists, and each of them came up with their own storyline as they had interviewed different people: market women, school children, bus passengers, monks, tourists, government officials, experts etc. The last day was used to do the editing and post-production of the three teams’ programs at the studios of Radio Thakek. The quality of all productions was excellent so that the three half-hour programs were broadcast by Radio Thakek and Radio Boualapha on National Tree Planting Day - 1 June, 2014.


Participants were confident that these initial productions can serve as a model for the 48 episodes of the planned environmental magazine. The lessons learned during the training will help radio journalists and relevant government agencies alike to raise environmental awareness with target groups in Khammouane, particularly in Thakek and Boualapha District. Starting in August 2014, Radio Thakek and Radio Boualapha will start producing an initial 24 episodes of a regular environmental magazine each. The 48 episodes will be shared and broadcast throughout the Khammouane Province by the two radio stations FM 95.5 Mhz (Thakek) and FM 102 Mhz (Boualapha).


Radio plays a crucial role in ProCEEd’s communication strategy and the Lao government’s general efforts to increase knowledge on and promote positive environmentally friendly attitudes and practices regarding natural resource management, biodiversity conservation and climate change. Radio is such an important tool because it is the most widely available and one of the most popular media. This is particularly true in rural areas where almost any family owns a radio set and where people’s livelihood depends on a healthy environment. In addition, a ProCEEd environmental awareness survey in 2012 found that radio and TV are among the most frequented and trusted sources of information for people in Laos to learn more about the environment. Broadcasting in local languages makes radio programs more appealing and easier to understand.


Therefore, ProCEEd has been supporting environmental awareness raising through radio programs throughout Laos since 2013. The programs aim at disseminating information and encouraging people to participate in the process of conserving and protecting nature, wildlife and natural resources such as forests for the sustainability of their children’s future. This helps people know about and understand the environmental impacts of climate change, deforestation or the over-exploitation of natural resources for example, which ultimately affects their lives. Regular radio programming on such issues can contribute to people’s motivation and ownership regarding environmental protection.



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You can now watch 12 professionally produced documentary films broadcast on LNTV in 2017. Three or four episodes of 15 minutes each make up for a mini-series that focuses on a specific topic, e.g. wildlife or forest protection. More films supported by ProCEEd and other GIZ projects are shown as well.


You can listen in to selected radio programs produced by LNR Khammouane in Thakek and Boualapha as well as by LNR Huaphan in Sam Neua and Houameuang. Some of them have even been translated into Khmu and Hmong language. Three 15-min episodes make up for a mini-series that focuses on a specific topic.


At the provincial and district level, Environmental Tours with entertaining environmental education activities regularly tour four provinces and Vientiane Capital. A bus and a truck using solar-powered equipment facilitate film, theatre and local learning and discussion initiatives. Don’t miss the tour!