New Environmental Radio Program in Khammouane

As a follow-up to the radio training workshop organized by ProCEEd in May 2014, the Lao National Radio (LNR) stations in Thakek and Boualapha in Khammouane both established the regular radio program “For the Environment”. The programs started broadcasting in August 2014 on Saturday 9:00 – 9:30 am and Sunday 18:00-18:30 pm through FM 95.5 MHZ province-wide from Thakek and through FM 102 MH2 in the Boualapha District. The half-hour magazines so far mostly covered topics related to climate change, wildlife conservation and the newly introduced co-management approach to forest protection at the Hin Nam No National Protected Area (HNN-NPA). ProCEEd evaluated the first batch of 32 programs in terms of environmental contents and the quality of its radio formats.

 

As a result, on 13-17 Oct, 2014, eight journalists from Radio Thakek, five from Radio Boualapha and four members of the Lao-German HNN-NPA project’s outreach unit joined forces with two trainers from LNR headquarters and a development communication specialist from Germany to improve the quality of the environmental radio series. They established two teams that produced a 30-minute master magazine each, one on “What are Trees Good for in Thakek?” and the other on “Co-Management in Khammouane’s Forest Protection”.

 

The innovation of the “For the Environment” series is its contents and radio formats. Before August 2014, a fixed environmental program did not exist in Khammouane. Now, Radio Thakek and Radio Boualapha can regularly raise awareness on environmental protection, wildlife and biodiversity conservation, particularly concerning forest protection in protected areas. The other new feature of the magazines is their high degree of variety. In addition to the standard news formats and expert interviews known by the radio stations before, “For the Environment” uses high-quality radio formats such as features and voxpop interviews. The latter provides a fast and easy opportunity for ordinary people to voice their opinion on specific subject matters. This format creates a lively atmosphere and makes the program more appealing to listeners.

 

In the case of the two master magazines produced in October, the journalists collected information from all walks of life: experts, government officials, police, monks, tourists, traders and market women, teachers and students, etc. All of them had their own ideas and perspectives on what trees are goof for in Thakek. Even the more complex issue of co-management in forest protection held surprising insights as a variety of interview partners told their story about this new collaboration approach of the government and local communities. Together, they protect forest resources such as timber or wildlife from overuse and illegal exploitation. After more than a year of meetings and discussions, related laws and regulations foresee village co-management committees and a fair system of fines for violators of forestry or wildlife laws. The fact was highlighted that Khammouane so far is the only province in Laos piloting the co-management approach – which is rare for other ASEAN countries as well – as this may appeal to local patriotism.

 

High quality has a price. Not only did the journalists spend a whole week on the two productions but they also put in lots of efforts to upgrade their competence and improve their performance. As such the week’s work provided valuable lessons and experiences for the two stations – focused on but not limited to environmental issues. Having the outreach staff of the HNN-NPA project on the radio productions teams during that period helped opening eyes –journalists better understood the depth of environmental issues and staff of the environmental project became more aware of radio formats and message design.

 

This in itself is a promising conclusion for radio to keep playing 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, since 2013, ProCEEd has been supporting environmental awareness raising through radio programs throughout Laos. 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.

 

NEWS

Second Survey on Environmental Awareness in Laos

As a follow-up to the 2012 KAP survey, ProCEEd launched a post-KAP in November 2016. It will compare results from 2012 with the ones from 2016. More...

Comic Book and Illustrations on Wildlife Conservation

ProCEEd published a comic book and a series of illustrations on wildlife conservation used on the 2016 Environmental Tour. More...

Training on Provincial Environmental Radio Programs

ProCEEd trained journalists from radio stations in Khammouane and Houaphan on environmental radio program productions. More...



ENVIRONMENTAL FILMS



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.

ENVIRONMENTAL RADIO



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.

ENVIRONMENTAL TOURS



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!