Media Groups are mainly associated with local political issues and propaganda, rather than ensuring communication awareness on the 17 SDGs.
Media houses, local/international, have mainly been associated with spread of divisive politics/propaganda that breed hate within the public- the main reason why most states still wallow in mediocrity. From towns, to slums, to villages, there has been inadequate communication awareness to the public on the existence of SDGs. What if we could use the media houses for the purpose of sensitization? Believe you me, in Kenya, only 1 out of 32 people will tell you what SDGs are. A majority of the population is kept in the dark. A quick survey in my class of 32 saw none of them tell me what SDGs are. How then can we attain a maximum number of SDGs if the larger public is uninformed and unaware of its existence? There is absolutely no way to attain the SDGs without involving the public who are the beneficiaries. Thus, the public and the media should be kept in the know-how, for a maximum number of SDGs to be attained.
Relevant organizations should thus see into it that there is adequate media coverage on SDGs. My proposal requires that there should be that continuous cooperation between organizations and media houses to ensure coverage. In Kenya for instance, I have never seen a media house preach SDGs. I can attribute this to the fact that they may also have been kept in the dark. I call upon organizations to work hand in hand with media houses to ensure that at least daily or weekly, there are SDG-related interviews, programs or broadcasts for the public. This will help break the deadlock of unawareness. I call for the establishment of a radio/‘SDG-TV’ station. This station should be opened up in states, and adequate advertisement made for the public to be aware of it. The station should be about sensitizing the public on the SDGs. Believe you me, a number of SDGs will be attainable through this action. This is because the public will be involved in trying to ensure these goals are accomplished. Communication awareness is the real deal and the secret to attaining all SDGs.
I will basically use and select proposals which champion for communication awareness. this will help add more flavor and ingredients to may key proposal, thus discussing it in depth. Fundamentally, it is through communication awareness on Climate Change and SDGs, that the highest number of these goals will be attainable.
What actions do you propose?
Communication is the sure way of ensuring SDGs are attained. Organizations should reach out to a variety of popular communication firms and media houses to relay information about the SDGs to the unaware public. We cannot keep on preaching SDGs if the people who should be benefiting from it are not even aware of what it entails. The UN, Climate CoLab, GEO and other relevant organizations should see into it that TV stations are used to sensitize on these goals. Also, they should work together with these media houses and see into it that SDGs think tanks and experts are often called for interviews to help educate the public on these goals, and thereafter leading to the attainment of the 17 goals. Also, these organizations, together with the media houses should ensure that there are 20-30 minutes’ programs, daily or weekly that are relayed to the public. These programs can take the form of a documentary on the topic about climate change thus helping in achieving goal no. 13 (climate action). This act will also see the public imparted with knowledge, thus achieving goal No. 4 (quality education). Education is not all about school, it is about learning how to do something. Through cooperation with the media and relevant organizations, Goal No.17 (partnerships for the goals) will be attained (public-private partnership).
Climate CoLab, the UN and relevant organizations should also see into it that an ‘SDG-TV’ station is set up, a channel that is basically about the 17 Goals. This channel should include programs that entail good agricultural practices across the globe (Goal No 1, 2; No poverty and Zero hunger attainable) attainable, not forgetting Goal No. 13 (climate action) attainable. Planting of trees and proper cultivation of crops reduce greenhouse effect and global warming. Also people will be better informed on the impacts of cutting down trees. Climate change has mainly been on the rise because there has been no adequate communication relayed to the public as to what is the cause. Here is a scenario in which we clearly communicate to the public and see a reduction on the drastic impacts of climate change. It is through good agricultural practices such as practice of climate smart agriculture that will lead to food security. The public will thus embark on measures to ensure climate change is curbed. Programs entailing human rights, peace and social development should be included into these stations and media houses. Thus, there will be more awareness and attainability on Goal No. 5 (Gender Equality), No. 8 (Economic Growth and Decent Work), No. 16 (Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions). Moreover, there should be programs entailing lifestyle and well-being. Through this, goal No. 3 (Good Health and well-being) will be attainable. However, the main goal attainable by these proposals is Education, (Goal No.4.). An educated and well-informed public will strive to ensure attainability of all the 17 goals. One thing I noticed when my sister was growing, is that she learned how to read the numbers and letters from TV stations. Now, our key focus is to ensure that the coming generations will always wake up to TV channels and interviews on SDGs. Through this way, they will grow having in mind that SDGs must be attained. This will be a milestone at ensuring attainability of these goals.
Another action I propose to be taken is that the relevant organizations should create an engagement forum or platform with the public. This platform could take the form of social media and setting up of SDG-institutions across the various countries and towns. Social media has virtually taken over the world. It has made the world to become a global village. So, we could use this to our advantage to ensure communication is relayed to the public. Writers, bloggers could be hired to publish more texts and articles on SDGs. Facebook could also be used to pass the message across the world. This form of engagement with the public on social media will see more knowledge imparted on them as pertaining to attaining the SDGs. Key purpose about these platforms is that they should play the role of empowering young people out there. I live in a country where many youths are unemployed, not because they have no papers, but just because of the second or third names they bear. As a result, very young innovative youth are dying out here, with projects and ideas that could help revitalize and achieve SDG No. 9 (industry, innovation and infrastructure). Many skillful teenagers have talents that could be put into use by experts but unfortunately, the state system has always been rigged against them. So, the social media platforms should seek to fund such people because they will be of great help in attaining some of the goals esp. No 9. Also as I mentioned earlier, engaging the public will also take the form of establishing small institutions in cities, towns and villages that are mainly for spreading the news and creating awareness to the public. One thing I love about people from rural areas is that they are always eager to learn and embrace new things that will be of help to them.
During the implementation of this proposals, I believe there will be no trade-offs as such. My proposal rather calls for us to use communication awareness as a balancer for all the SDGs and avoid any necessary trade-offs. One of the key things to be taken into account is that all these goals will be given equal emphasis and coverage. Mark you, my proposal is all about ‘communication awareness on ALL 17 SDGs. In its implementation, no goal should or will be deemphasized. It is a proposal to make the public aware of the goals and work together with relevant stakeholders to attain these goals. When getting TV experts or anchors to relay this, it should be made sure that no stone is left unturned- by that I mean that the public is made aware on all the goals without de-emphasis on any of the goals.
In my proposal, I thus see the emphasis and valuation of all the SDGs, without bias on any of the critical goals. These goals are more or less interdependent. Besides, I am just a second year student, the oversight of this project and its implementation is upon the UN, Climate CoLab and other relevant stakeholders.
ClimeDoc, my third attached CoLab proposal, is one of the proposals that I have related with my own, bearing in mind that it smoothly merges with my key proposal. One fundamental feature about Clime Doc is that it basically champions for communication, which is my key argument. ClimeDoc proposal clearly stipulates that the impacts of climate change are devastating, and as a result, a documentary should be filmed, a documentary to demonstrate the impacts of climate change and ways of managing it. This key CoLab proposal can be summed up in one word “Communication”. The core issue is to ensure communication awareness is made on the need to embrace SDGs. Mark you, my argument has been that media houses should be involved in creating awareness on SDGs and also most importantly, an SDG-TV station to be set up. This documentary will be one of the numerous programs and films that the media houses and SDG-TV will air to the public domain. It is through knowing the impacts of climate change that citizenry may be motivated to in deed work for the achievement of these key SDGs. Moreover, ClimeDoc should not only seek to address the drastic impacts of climate change, but it should also ensure communication awareness on SDGs is made clear to the public.
The first attached CoLab proposal on “Climate Communication” aims at strengthening communities with enhanced access to information and promote their adaption with conscious participation. The second one with the title “Flood preparedness, communication and adaption at the neighborhood” advocates for enhancement of community resilience, flood preparedness through effective (storytelling) and citizen engagement at the neighborhood level. All these proposals basically denote a form of communication; communication through enhanced information, communication through storytelling and communication through citizen engagement (which has been my core argument-engaging the citizens through making them aware). All these basically champion for communication, through which the media houses, SDG-TV and institutions will play center stage. Many media TV stations always use story-telling as a basic mode of communication to the public. Here is an instance now where we will air programs, in the form of documentaries and storylines, to preach SDGs thus attain all the 17Goals. Education, which is SDG number four, will be attained. It is from this education and information that we will attain all the other SDGs. NB: All these are basically championing for communication; which media houses will play a major role in sensitization.
The fourth attached proposal, which is the Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) for sustainable financing on Climate Actions, is yet another key proposal. However, it is worth-noting that ensuring communication awareness on SDGs is itself a Climate Action. This is because it is through the education acquired from the same that all SDGs, including the Climate Action is attainable. When answering the question on who to take these actions, it is worth noting that for financing these proposals, the public and private organizations ought to work hand in hand. From GEO, to CoLab, to UNEP, to Kenyan Government, to Royal Media Services of Kenya, finances will be needed. These organizations are a mixture of private and public entities. Furthermore, it will help attain SDG No. 17 (partnership for the goals).
Who will take these actions and which types of actors are involved?
It is worth noting that in my proposal, a number of partnerships will be required. This will help to further attain SDG No. 17 (Partnerships for the Goals). For these actions to be taken, UN Environment, Climate CoLab, GEO, Healthy Planet Healthy people, and other relevant organizations should be at the forefront in ensuring implementation. Finance is needed and these organizations should help in providing such financial assistance. Organizations whose sole-existence are for the purpose of facilitating SDGs should also be ahead in trying to implement these actions. Also, key among the actors should be the Media Services within any states. In Kenya, Royal Media Services should be involved because they run and control a vast majority of media houses. Once the media houses are involved, there will be sure measures that SDGs will always be made known to the entire public. The CEO Royal Media Services in Kenya, S.K Macharia, will be a key factor in ensuring media houses embrace the change. Media houses will play the major role of preaching the SDGs Gospel.
The government should also be involved, especially the Ministries related to communication. In Kenya, that would be the Ministry of Information Communication Technology. They will play a big role in providing computer experts and necessary material support for the implementation of the proposal. Computer and television programmers will also come in handy, when a TV station is to be set up. We must also have the individuals running the TV station and radio stations.
Where will these actions be taken and how could they scale?
I wrote this proposal with my country Kenya in mind. The actions will be taken in all the best media houses in Kenya. It is these media houses that are the key to SDGs being a reality and a common song in the mouth of the Kenyan public. Also, social media platforms should be used to relay the message on SDGs. The SDGs institutions should be set up in cities such as Kisumu, Mombasa and Nairobi. The slums, (Kibera, Mathare, Korogocho, Nyalenda, Kondele) should be the major beneficiaries when setting up these institutions. It is in the slums that most challenges associated with attainment of SDGs exists. These include poverty, poor sanitation and drainage systems, illiteracy, hunger, and crimes such as robbery at nights due to poverty.
Rural areas within counties such as Kisumu, Kakamega, Bungoma, Nakuru, Siaya, Vihiga, Kisii, Meru, and others should also see the setting up of SDGs-institutions to help create awareness on these goals. However, these actions are not just limited to Kenya towns and slums. I believe the proposal could scale up to involve other countries such as Uganda and other developing countries, because unawareness on SDGs is a problem facing many countries.
Below is an image of Kibera slums
In addition, specify the countries where these actions will be taken.
No country selected
No country selected
No country selected
No country selected
What impact will these actions have on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and/or adapting to climate change?
According to WRI CAIT, agriculture emissions increased by 13.53 MtCO2e (59%) from 1990 to 2013, driven by enteric fermentation (56%) and manure left on pasture (37%). Data from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) show a 32% increase in the number of cattle, approximately a doubling of sheep and goats, and a threefold increase in camels from 1990 to 2013. However, we are aiming to use communication awareness which will see individuals avoid such poor agricultural practices. This could see a drop in carbon emissions by a larger percentage.
Data from WRI CAIT show that energy emissions also increased 8.16 MtCO2e (77%) from 1990 to 2013, driven by transportation (39%), electricity and heat production (26%), and other fuel combustion (25%). Through communication awareness on the renewable forms of energy, and environment friendly transportation, there will be a significant cut in the GHG emissions. It is communication that will sensitize the public on how to curb climate change.
What are the most innovative aspects and main strengths of this approach?
Some fundamental and heart-warming aspects about my proposal is that it is economically, politically and socially viable. Also, it is a proposal that is simple, concise, practical, relevant universally applicable. Through awareness, the environment will be conserved and better maintained. Also, a country will prosper economically. Some of the key climate goals in my country Kenya is the promotion of climate-smart agriculture that would contribute to food security (Goal 13 and Goal2), and the need for increased responsible consumption behavior that promotes resource efficiency and holistic waste development. (Goal No. 12, Responsible Consumption and Production). My proposal, though communication awareness will see these goals be put into desirable action. Another key strength about my proposal is that it is one of the ways of limiting and eradicating trade-offs. It will ensure emphasis on all the SDGs
What are the proposal’s projected costs?
In Kenya, the establishment of a TV station ranges between $30000-$100000. This may be cheaper in other states. also, computer, TV experts and programmers will be needed and this depends on the programmers and experts available. It should cost between $2000-$5000 per programmer. For advertisement purposes, or TV programs in popular TV stations, the prices range. It will all depend on daily, weekly or monthly charges where applicable. This will also depend on the quality of advertisement, time put into it and the advertisers involved.
Establishment of institutions will basically depend on the architectural groups. However, a small office is all that is needed in majority areas. Big institutions and structures are not that important. Small structures could serve the same purpose. For social media platforms, all that is needed are proficient writers. During implementation, there may take some time for the public to fully adapt and embrace the changes brought about. Setting up a TV station may also take some time. However, liaising with media houses will be immediate and the message will be passed across without any delay. During implementations, no trade-offs will occur. All the SDGs will be emphasized and given their attention.
About the Authors
I am Atela Finney Israel, a second year student at the Technical University of Kenya, pursuing International Relations and Diplomacy. My hometown is in Kisumu County, Nyakach Constituency. Currently, I reside in Nairobi, as I continue with my university course work. My interests have always been in Political, Energy, Environment and Climate-related issues. I have also been a close observer and preacher of SDGs to a number of friends. At a later stage, I will consider specializing in the afore mentioned disciplines, and also in International Security (with great emphasis on Environmental and Climate Security). I also look forward to studying Foreign Policy Analysis and analyze how different political systems work. My main career goal is however working with the United Nations to help solve the global catastrophes, be it political or natural. The impacts of climate change are vast and wide-felt. It causes misery and suffering in the faces of world populations. I would love to be one of the drivers of this change.
Owino Vincent is a second year Undergraduate Student in International Relations and Diplomacy. He studies at Technical University of Kenya.
Ian Mokaya, also a second year student. He pursues a Bachelor's Degree in Civil Enginnering. He also studies at Technical University of Kenya.
Our motivation has always been that we youths have a lot to add to the country's discourse, and through this, we always try and come up with ideas that could be of use in ensuring the well-being of our fellow citizens. I thank God, and Climate CoLab for this opportunity. I have always wanted to showcase my idea but I have lacked the platform to do it. But, thanks to you, I expressed my thoughts and proposal on what should be done.
What enabling environment would be required in order to implement this proposal?
Realistically, for all these proposals to be successful, media houses ought to be mobilized and empowered. Climate CoLab, a renowned organization, in partnership with other influential organizations such as the UN, should formulate policies that better enhance their relations with the various media houses. A good environment, conditioned with cooperation and interaction, will be thus key to implementing the proposal.
Furthermore, the youth and the citizenry at large should be mobilized on the changes to be brought by this proposal in the early stages. Kenya has youth who are generally good at mobilizing others about a given issue that will be of benefit. Believe you me, no one will ever reject a proposal that will be for the betterment of their future. So, we should come up with a mobilizing group, that will help facilitate advance communication This will be through the use of small banners discussing the various SDGs.
Be that as it may, relevant influential organizations should work hand in hand with the Kenyan Government, create that rapport of cooperation and understanding. The Kenyan government, with emphasis on the Ministry of ICT, and Education will be very influential in ensuring this proposal is implemented. The government of Kenya is always willing to embrace and foresee implementation of proposals that will see the citizenry get a better future.