On World Press Freedom Day, UN highlights Somali media coverage of climate challenges

3 May 2024

On World Press Freedom Day, UN highlights Somali media coverage of climate challenges

Mogadishu – Marking World Press Freedom Day, the United Nations in Somalia highlighted the important work Somali journalists carry out in reporting on the climate challenges facing their country and encouraged increased coverage.

“Somalia is on the frontline of climate change, with the climate crisis affecting the lives of millions of Somalis, especially the most vulnerable. Much more needs to be done to raise awareness of all aspects of the environmental crisis and journalism is indispensable for this purpose,” said the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Somalia, Catriona Laing.

“For Somalia to achieve its goals of stability and sustainable development, it is necessary for journalists to report accurately, timely, and comprehensively on environmental issues and their consequences, as well as on possible solutions,” she added.

In Somalia, the United Nations supports civil society to engage on the nexus between human rights and climate change – this includes understanding how climate-induced shocks intersect with fundamental human rights such as the right to life, right to health and right to access food and clean water. 

As part of the campaign to mark the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights last year, the United Nations launched media campaigns to promote and gather youth perspectives on climate change and environmental issues to hear their voices on how climate change is impacting Somalia.

Established by the UN General Assembly in 1993, the theme of this year's World Press Freedom Day is ‘A Press for the Planet: Journalism in the face of the Environmental Crisis’ and is dedicated to the importance of journalism and freedom of expression in the context of the current global environmental crisis. 

It aims to highlight the significant role that the press, journalism, access and dissemination of information play in ensuring a sustainable future.