Building Critical Mass Awareness Of Climate Change Engaging The Media Sectors In Bangladesh

Saturday, 20 December 2014

A. S. Mahmud Seminar Hall, Daily Star, 64-65 Kazi Nazrul Islam Ave, Farm Gate, Dhaka

As part of its ‘Redraw The Line’ climate change awareness project, the Asia-Pacific Media Alliance for Social Awareness (‘The Media Alliance’) is organising a series of one-day regional and national seminars in partnership with local stakeholders on ‘Building Critical Mass Awareness of Climate Change’ to examine how the various media sectors can be more engaged to support awareness building activities.

The seminars will discuss how these sectors can partner with development agencies, multi-lateral institutions and NGOs – and private sector corporations with strong CSR initiatives relating to sustainable development – to stimulate dialogue and cooperation on mitigating and adapting to climate change.

The Dhaka seminar, which is being organised jointly by The Media Alliance, the Forum of Environmental Journalists of Bangladesh (FEJB), the Bangladesh NGOs Network for Radio and Communication (BNNRC) and Development Media Limited, is the sixth in a series of events previously held in Hong Kong, Singapore, Manila, Hanoi and Bangkok to address how multi-sector partnerships can advance public awareness and behaviour change initiatives on climate change in the Asian region.

The Dhaka seminar will examine how the various media sectors in Bangladesh can give better visibility to the social, humanitarian, environmental and sustainable development implications of climate change through programming and editorial content, public service advertising, and the use of social media and other substantive digital information platforms.

The events are being supported by Sweden through the ‘Redraw The Line’ climate change awareness campaign.

Nusrat Islam Khan –

Registration is open to professionals working in media, advertising, PR, marketing, communications and entertainment; representatives of government departments, development agencies and NGOs working on climate change related issues; and private sector companies with an interest in establishing CSR programs supporting sustainable development. There is no charge for registration but advance notice of attendance is required by submitting name, title and organization represented to the above email address. Prospective delegates should specify in their email whether they wish to register for the whole day, or for only the morning or afternoon session.

Please note that the seminar will be conducted in Bangla.

REMINDER: Details required for pre-registration are: 1. Name; 2. Title or position in organisation; 3. Name of organisation; 4. Whether attending for whole day or only morning or afternoon session.

For any other enquiries relating to this seminar, please write to us at



8.30 AM

Registration at The Daily Star

9.00 AM

Welcome by Master of Ceremonies: Nusrat Rysa Ali, Radio Today FM 89.6

Inauguration speech by Chief Guest

Critical mass awareness is needed for the mainstreaming of both mitigation and adaptation to climate change. Building a rapid response is not only the responsibility of Government and big business, but of every citizen on the planet, whether they are carbon contributors through the consumption of energy, transportation and manufactured goods or potential victims of natural disasters, flood, drought, or food and water scarcity. There is a need to popularize awareness of both mitigation and adaptation to attempt to slow the adverse effects that the use of fossil fuels have had on the planet and to prepare for the impact of climate change.

Anwar Hossain Manju, MP, Honorable Minister for Environment and Forests, Bangladesh.
9.30 AM

Keynote address

Public and private media organizations have the power to educate and shift minds and hearts on key social and environmental issues that can lead to lasting the change. Through programming, news coverage and public service announcements, media organizations have the potential to be vehicles and mediums for positive change amongst the audiences they reach. How is the media in Bangladesh currently meeting these expectations in respect of raising awareness of climate change, and what more needs to be done? Where might there be opportunities to further advance public awareness initiatives through multi-sector partnerships between the media and other climate change stakeholders such as development agencies, multi-lateral institutions, NGOs, and the private sector?

Kazi Akhtar Uddin Ahmed, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Information, and Director General, Bangladesh Betar
10.10 AM

Session 1: Climate change – Paradigms and priorities for Bangladesh

The concerns of individual countries and communities regarding climate change are different. Some are more concerned with adaptation to drought and desertification whilst others face flooding, clean water shortage and food security issues. Still others need to place more emphasis on addressing mitigation and carbon contribution. The paradigms and priorities for climate change risk resilience in Bangladesh is an issue relevant to awareness campaigns. What are the priorities in Bangladesh and where should campaign resources be directed to have the most impact? What other local resources are available for addressing climate change with the public?

Presentation for discussion: Khondker Neaz Rahman, Urban Planner.


Dr Sharmind Neelormi, Associate Professor, Department of Economics, Jahangirnagar University
Dr A. Atiq Rahman, Executive Director, Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies (BCAS)
Chairperson/moderator:Syeda Rizwana Hasan, Chief Executive, Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association (BELA)

11.10 AM

Tea/coffee break

11.30 AM

Session 2: The roles and responsibilities of media on climate change

Media and entertainment outlets are in the best possible position to reach mass audiences and promote awareness of issues such as climate change. What awareness campaigns have been undertaken in Bangladesh to date, and have they been effective? What more can media organizations do to raise awareness of climate change and what are the challenges in maintaining audience and reader interest? How can media effectively reach those communities – often in poorer rural and remote areas – that will be most affected by climate change? How can the entertainment sector in Bangladesh be engaged to assist media in this role?

Presentation for discussion: Tanim Ahmed, Special Correspondent, Dhaka Tribune


Abdus Salam, Chairman and CEO, Ekushey Television
Selim Bashar, Head of News, Radio Today FM 89.6
Zafar Sobhan, Editor, Dhaka Tribune
Chairperson/moderator:Nazrul Islam, Editor,

12.30 PM

Lunch break

1.30 PM

Session 3: CSR and climate change

Social issue advertising and communication for development are crucial activities for development agencies, multi-lateral institutions, non-governmental and civil society organizations. But they often lack budgets and are limited in the extent to which they can sustain audience outreach. Collaboration with media companies, advertising agencies, PR firms and private sector CSR initiatives are measures employed to build visibility of sustainable development issues. To what extent is this happening in Bangladesh and where are their opportunities for more collaboration to raise awareness of climate change?

Presentation for discussion: Khawza Mainuddin, Executive Editor, Ice Business Times


Shahazada Basunia, Vice-President, Head of Marketing, Dutch-Bangla Bank Ltd
Shahnoor Wahid, Senior Assistant Editor, The Daily Star
Shahamin S. Zaman, Chief Executive Officer, CSR Centre
Chairperson/moderator:Iresh Zakar, Executive Director, Asiatic JWT

2.30 PM

Session 4: Linking the voices

Civil societies are at the forefront of efforts to raise awareness of climate change, but is there enough communication between public and media in the context of climate change? Is there enough knowledge sharing between experts and civil society to clearly disseminate the relevant facts? Communications for development are crucial activities for development agencies, multi-lateral institutions and non-governmental and civil society organizations. To what extent is this happening in Bangladesh? Where are the opportunities for more collaboration to raise awareness of climate change through linking the voices from the different corners of the society?

Presentation for discussion: AHM Bazlur Rahman, Chief Executive Officer, Bangladesh NGOs Network for Radio and Communication (BNNRC)


Abdul Matin, President, Bangladesh Poribesh Andolon (BAPA)
Razwan Nabin, Climate Champion, 2012 (Youth representative)
Chairperson/moderator:Kamran Reza Chowdhury, Environmental Expert

3.30 PM

Tea/coffee break

3.50 PM

Summary and Synthesis

What ideas has the seminar stimulated? What opportunities are there for further multi-sector collaboration in Bangladesh on building critical mass awareness of climate change?


Quamrul Islam Chowdhury, Chairman, Forum of Environmental Journalists of Bangladesh and Asia-Pacific Forum of Environmental Journalists (FEJB and APFEJ)
Nazrul Islam, Chief Executive, Development Media Limited
Nusrat Islam Khan, Bangladesh Coordinator, The Media Alliance
Chairperson/moderator:Nusrat Rysa Ali, Radio Today FM 89.6

4.40 PM

Closing comments

4.45 PM

Close of seminar


The ‘Redraw The Line’ climate change awareness campaign is supported in South and Southeast Asia by:

SWEDEN supports regional development in Asia through the Embassy of Sweden in Bangkok. The goal for Swedish development cooperation is to contribute to creating conditions for people living in poverty to improve their living conditions. The focus in Asia is on environment, climate change and human rights.

Media Sector Partners:


About The Organizers

The Asia-Pacific Media Alliance for Social Awareness (‘THE MEDIA ALLIANCE’) is a Singapore-based non-profit organization formed in 2009 to work with media companies to leverage valuable broadcast ‘inventory’ and print media space for the delivery of critical pro-social messaging through Public Service Advertising, entertainment and editorial content. The Media Alliance also leverages the contribution of the creative expertise of advertising agencies in the production of high-quality campaigns designed to achieve maximum target audience penetration. The Media Alliance stakeholders include (a) media companies who provide media space for pro-social campaigns; (b) advertising, PR & creative agencies who contribute pro-bono creative and production services; (c) international development agencies and donor organisations who provide the seed funding for campaign development; and (d) private sector corporations providing financial support through Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives that enable campaigns to be implemented on a larger scale.

The FORUM OF ENVIRONMENTAL JOURNALISTS OF BANGLADESH (FEJB) is a UN-DPI accredited pioneer professional watchdog for conservation. It was founded in 1983 by a group of journalists dedicated to protecting the environment and ensuring sustainable development by creating awareness among people about the need for halting the onslaughts of environmental degradation which threaten to destroy the country’s ecological balance. Over the years FEJB has developed into a think-tank and a research organization carrying out a wide range of activities, including publication of Bangla and English Annual State of Environment Reports and Citizens Reports, production of Earth Files, documentaries, media reports, training programs and workshops. FEJB is the founding member of the Asia-Pacific Forum of Environmental Journalists created by UNESCAP in 1988 during the first Environmental Ministerial Conference of the Asia-Pacific region. In Bangladesh FEJB has been in the forefront of all climate talks as well as during the Conference of the Parties (COP) to UNFCCC and Conference of the Parties (COP) to UNCCD and UNCBD.

The BANGLADESH NGOs NETWORK FOR RADIO AND COMMUNICATION (BNNRC) is a national networking body on community media working for the building of a democratic society based on the principles of the free flow of information, and equitable and affordable access to information and communication technology (ICT) for remote and marginalized populations. BNNRC represents the community media sector to government, industry, regulatory bodies, media and development partners. BNNRC provides a range of advice, information and consultancy services, offering support to anyone with an interest in the sector of community media through building capacity, research and development, and technical cooperation. Much of the BNNRC’s work has a strategic emphasis and the organization has been actively involved in policy advocacy on behalf of the community media sector with the government, the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission and other bodies regarding policy on community radio, community television, the Community Radio Trust Fund, amateur radio operation, community media literacy, and spectrum allocation.

DEVELOPMENT MEDIA LIMITED is an organisation that provides support and services to governments, international and national donors, local partners and private entities who are working to improve the quality of life of people in Bangladesh. Staffed by researchers, journalists, professionals, experts and thinkers, the organisation conducts need-based social research and campaigns to help strike better development policies for Bangladesh. The organisation is a provider of news and information, and initiates debates on issues of public importance. It provides targeted training programmes for journalists and other professionals working in the development field. Development Media Limited owns an online newspaper,, which provides real time coverage of events across the globe in both English and Bangla. The newspaper endeavours to provide in-depth of every issue that matters in public life. The organisation has a long-term plan of launching of a magazine dedicated to development issues, incorporating analysis of the situation at the grassroots level, and highlighting the pros and cons of any development initiatives.