15th March, 2022: 8 science journalists have been selected to participate in the Himalayan Climate Boot Camp to be held in the Everest region from April 22-24, 2022.
The selection process involved a competitive and rigorous screening of a total of 44 applications from Nepal, India and Bangladesh by a 3-member jury panel comprising of a climate scientist, climate researcher and climate journalist. The applications were evaluated along the following criteria: relevant work experience, motivation statement and a passion for science journalism.
‘It is a unique and historic event for the science journalists, and this event will take science journalism education to new elevations,’ Chhatra Karki, Project Leader of Himalayan Climate Boot Camp and the founding President of Nepal Forum of Science Journalists (NFSJ), said, ‘The event will be held in Khumbhu region (3,300 m), which is also a gateway to the Mount Everest. The participants will obtain first-hand information about the impact of climate change on Himalayan communities including their adaptation and mitigation challenges at the local level.’ After the boot camp, participants will get a chance to work remotely with assigned mentors and participate in follow-up virtual workshops.
According to Karki, the selected journalists will produce a total of 16 stories (print, audio and visual) : 2 each with ground level observation and the workshop learnings on the foothills of the Everest region on various aspects of climate change. The project has been funded by Spark Grant initiative under the auspices of World Federation of Science Journalists (WFSJ).
List of selected participants including their brief profile:
Arathi Menon, India: Arathi Menon has an extensive experience in delivering captivating, insightful and data-driven reports on climate change, conservation and sustainability as a science journalist. She is also an awardee of Earth Journalism Fellow 2021.
Balika Maden, Nepal: Balika Maden is an aspiring young journalist with a varying experience of reporting issues of climate and environment in print and electronic media. As a radio journalist of a public owned media in Nepal, she has been raising pertinent issues of climate and environment science through reporting and news analysis.
Gobinda Prasad Pokharel, Nepal: Mr. Pokharel possess more than 5 years of progressive experience working in the field of environment and climate reporting. He has produced various news reports and analysis on glacial lakes, GLOFs, climate induced disasters like drought among others working in one of the leading dailies in Nepal.
Marissa Taylor, Nepal: Marissa Taylor is assistant editor at The Record Nepal, a digital news publication. She has been working as a journalist for the past nine years in Kathmandu and writes about the environment, with particular focus on climate change, climate injustices and biodiversity conservation. She was part of Road to COP26’s Women Reporters on Climate Change.
Raihana Maqbool, India: As an independent journalist, Raihana has written climate stories linking with women and gender for Women Media Centre including stories on women and COVID-19 for The Fuller Project over the past six years. She has also bagged fellowships for Draper Hills Summer Fellows Program, Stanford University, 2021 and World Conference Of Science Journalists, Fellow, 2019, Lausanne.
Saugat Bolakhe, Nepal: Mr. Bolakhe is an independent science writer with growing regional and international repute. He has published scientific stories in leading media outlets like Scientific American, Climate Tracker, Footprint Magazine among others. He also received a grant award for attending science writer’s annual conference and science journalism forum in 2020 and 2021.
Sohara Mehroze Shachi, Bangladesh: As a freelance journalist, Sohara’s work revolves around generating themes and ideas of feature stories on issues of environment and climate change. Recipient of the Asian Young Environmental Journalist of the Year, Singapore Environment Council, 2016, her stories have appeared in prestigious outlets like Al Jazeera, the third pole, the daily star among others.
Zakir Hossain Chowdhury, Bangladesh: Zakir has established himself as a freelance photo-journalist who contributes for reputed media namely The Guardian, Telegraph, Daily Mail, and Wall Street Journal among others. He has produced video stories on climate change, child labor and Rohingya issues. Receiving awards like photographer of the year in The Guardian, Best Photograph of the year in CNN on Rohingya refugee issue, Zakir has bagged reputed international titles.