A radio journalist from Nigeria has won the United Nations Environment Programme’s Young Environmental Journalist Award, beating over 120 entries from reporters across Africa. Ugochi Anyaka, 28, received her award at a special ceremony held during the 12th Special Session of the UNEP Governing Council / Global Ministerial Environment Forum in Nairobi, Kenya. The winning report, entitled Saving the Trees for Paper Briquettes, was broadcast on ASO Radio in Nigeria, where Anyaka works as a journalist and presenter.
The radio feature profiled a project in a low-income suburb of Abuja that manufactures briquettes from waste paper, in order to provide an alternative fuel to traditional firewood. The project aims to reduce the health risks associated with indoor use of wood fuel, reduce deforestation and provide a source of income for the briquette makers. Anyaka’s report also discusses the role of the Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism.
Anyaka said, “This story was done to show the opportunities in a changing climate – and not just the woes. “It also seeks to show the conflicting view points about the Clean Development Mechanism. But ultimately, it tells the story of what some Nigerians are doing to protect their vulnerable environment and save their very existence…’