Although all may not be well with Sri Lankan media and questions continue to be be raised about the government’s treatment of journalists, it is heartening to know that several initiatives are being taken to recognise excellence in the field. One such has been taken by the Asia-Pacific Forum of Environmental Journalists (APFEJ), which is currently accepting entries for the 2009 Asia-Pacific Awards for Excellence in Environmental Journalism.
The awards "recognise the efforts of journalists working on environmental issues and to encourage environmental journalism across the region." Interested journalists are asked to submit stories that were published in local media between 1 January and 31 December 2008, by August 31. Submissions can cover or address "any aspect of the environment" in the region or the applicant's country. This work can include scientific research and findings, protected areas, climate change, ecotourism, conservation, sustainable development, eco-friendly alternative products and fuels, environmental education, environmental political issues, threats to the environment, mining, logging, oil extraction and other forms of exploitation of natural resources and social issues related to the environment.
The contest was first introduced in 1990 to promote high quality coverage of environmental issues and acknowledge the work of communication professionals in that field.
APFEJ is the oldest and largest organization of professional environmental journalists and has more than 12,000 members around the world. From 12 members at its
establishment in 1988, APFEJ has grown to encompass 154 members - of which 42 are from within the Asia and Pacific region and 112 outside. The mission of APFEJ to build into a strong, independent and committed to promote excellence in environmental journalism worldwide by supporting environmental journalists specially Asia pacific through Professionalism, Freedom of expression, Social responsibility, environmental justice, Networking and training.
More details on the awards can be viewed on http://www.environmentaljournalists.org web site.