COVID-19 – How we plan to respond

When 2020 began, we had big hopes in Climate Tracker to host more workshops and in-person training than we had ever done before.

As the year began, you might have seen that we have already put out plans to host workshops and support investigative reporting teams across Africa, Asia, and Latin America. 

Just last week, we were putting the final touches on a series of workshops across the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia, and were hoping to select the final 6 journalists to travel to the SEforALL forum in Rwanda this week. 

However, over the weekend it became clear that many of our plans for the future will have to change.

How Does Covid-19
Impact Our Work?

In Rwanda, the SEforALL Forum has been postponed to 2021. In the Philippines, the country has enacted a nation-wide travel ban and city-wide lockdowns across Metro Manila. In Malaysia, movement restrictions have now also been put in place and I expect that Indonesia may enact similar measures in the next week, and even days. In Sudan, we were planning a workshop in the next few months that also now looks in doubt.

As the global response to the COVID-19 Pandemic develops, it is clear that no organisation or government can continue in a ‘business as usual approach’. No matter how ‘digitally prepared’ a workplace might be, or worthy their cause might sound. 

In the last week, it has become clear to us all at Climate Tracker that we will need to make significant changes over the next days, weeks and months. 

Our mission of supporting young climate journalists around the world will remain the same, but our methods must change, adapt and in some cases, be put on hold, or be totally inverted.

This is just a start, and we’ll be building on all of these elements through ongoing consultation with our staff and fellows. We have team members under lockdown currently in the Philippines, Sudan, Malaysia and Spain. Like any global organisation, we also have team members whose family are currently at risk or recovering from COVID-19.

For now, we are trying our best to weather this storm, and to transition in a manner that can keep our programs, our focus and our dreams alive. We may not be able to achieve these dreams, but we know if we don’t respond fast, we won’t have a chance. If you have any feedback on how our programs may or may not be impacted in your country, please reach out to us. 

Stay tuned to Stay Updated

One of our dreams is to keep the incredible momentum of the climate change narrative alive within the world’s media circles. 2019 was indisputably a stepping stone year for climate journalism globally. 2020 has seen that focus shift, understandably. But we hope over the next weeks and months that we will still be able to support journalists to tell the stories that can shape sustainable government responses to both the COVID-19 and Climate Crisis. 

For our specific programs in Rwanda, Sudan, the Philippines and other locations, we will be in touch with all our applicants this week about our alternative plans, and encourage you to join our mailing list for more updates.

Over the next few days, we’ll also make sure to update our social media in regards to how our other programs may be affected going forward, and will be looking to your support and feedback on how we can better support you as well.