Journos Hemnath Khatiwada, Balkrishna Adhikari, Janak Nepal, D.R.Pant and Nabin Luitel were declared the winners of Award of Excellence for Environment Reporting 2015, during an award function organized by MITRA Samaj, in Kathmandu on April 21.
Hemnath Khatiwada, a freelance journalist won the online category of the award function for the article Binashkari Bhukampa Ra Batabaran Maitri Punarnirman, published in www.langtangnews.com.
Khatiwada said, Ever since I started writing, many people have been encouraging me to continue writing more, and pinpointing their names is not possible as they are in hundreds, adding, Training provided by MITRA Samaj taught me crucial issues related to environment and conservation, ultimately enabling me to write more than 6 reports, and now, declaring me as one of the recipients of the award, it has made me more responsible to continue contributing for the issue.
Winner from the category of radio was Nabin Luitel, News Reader and Reporter for Environment and Sports beat, for the radio report Paani Parna Kamm.
I would like to thank Sharda Basnet from Radio Sagarmatha who had suggested me to employ my journalism skills for environmental issues, said Luitel, Being the recipient of the award, I have found myself more responsible towards environmental issues, and I pledge to produce better reports in the near future.
Similarly, while Balkrishna Adhikari, Makwanpur Correspondent for Kantipur Television, won television category for the report Clean City, Janak Nepal and Dr. Pant, Nepalgunj and Dadeldhura correspondent for Nepal Rastriya Saptahik respectively won print category for the article Bagarko Upathyeka published in the weekly.
Besides, journalists actively reporting for environmental and conservation issues were honored, namely, Ramesh Bhushal (Nepal Editor for www.thethirdpole.net), Subodh Gautam (Special Correspondent for Nagarik and Republic Daily), Pragati Shahi (Sub-Editor of The Kathmandu Post), Pramod Kumar Tandan (Haka Haki Magazine), Abdullah Miya (Senior Sub-Editor, Kantipur Daily), Saroj Koirala (Desk Editor, Avenues Television) and Shobha Manandhar (Senior Producer, Audio Visual Section, Aankhijhyaal and Naya Pusta, NTV Plus).
Speaking at the event, Netra Sharma, AOR – Hariyo Ban Program, SEED, USAID, said, Media is the fourth organ of the country, and have the courage and capacity to check and balance every happening, thus, involvement of media in the conservation issues is crucial, adding, USAID has been the longest development partner of Nepal since 65 years, and this is not the end, however, we together can continue working towards conservation issues. The project has laid the foundation, and we all are responsible to make it run for long.
Sandesh Singh Hamal, Deputy Chief of Party, Hariyo Ban Program, CARE Nepal said, Ever since Hariyo Ban program kicked off, we have been partnering with local and national media in different forms with an objective of imparting useful information among larger population, adding, Media has helped stakeholders of the program to share information among themselves and design and implement need based program activities successfully.
Similarly, Dr. Shibesh Chandra Regmi, Deputy Chief of Party, USAID Nepal MEL Project, said, News and articles related to environment and conservation should be massively covered in order to accelerate conservation drives because environment affects all sectors, and without good environment, other sectors cannot yield fruitful results.
Members of the judges panel spoke about the fairness in the quality of adjudging entries received for the competition. Dr. Mahendra Bista, President of Federation of Nepali Journalists, said, Subjects raised by the contestants were good, and their presentation angle were fantastic, and adjudging their works gave me awesome opportunity to adjudge the quality of reporting of Nepalese journalists. Similarly, Sahaj Man Shrestha, President of Nepal Forum of Environment Journalists said, Reports of the contestants have been adjudged with deep fairness, and deserving reports have won the categories; however, other reports were equally challenging.
Praising the strength of media and media persons, Surya Man Shakya, Sr. Environment Engineer and one of the jury members, said, In every sector, environmental issues has been mainstreamed, and the credit goes to media. In 1992, Nepal Forum for Environment Journalist raised issues regarding the need of formation of a body under whose purview, works related to environmental conservation would have advanced, and within 2 years, Environment Ministry was formed. Media has always supported even it has limited resources.
The award ceremony was the ending activity of the project â€˜Sensitization of Media Persons for Wider Reach and Awareness on Conservation and Climate Change, implemented by MITRA Samaj, under the USAID funded Hariyo Ban Program, WWF Nepal from January 2015 till May 2016.