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Report on the FANRPAN journalist workshop and media liaison at COP17 in Durban
28 November 2011 - 9 December 2011


Junxion Communications presented FANRPAN on 3 October 2011 with an action plan to -
  • present a journalist workshop
  • handle media related work
  • produce a stakeholder newspaper
at COP17 from 27 November to 9 December 2011 in Durban.

The scope of the operations included a workshop for journalists from various African countries, the research, writing and issuing of media statements during the conference, providing these statements for uploading onto the FANRPAN website, uploading on the conference media site and for issuing to related media outlets, including to that of Agricultural Writers SA, and producing a conference newspaper – 2 000 copies for distribution at the conference and 1 000 for mailing to stakeholders early in 2012. Articles written by the journalists were distributed to their relevant media houses, while approved articles were also distributed to relevant stakeholders on the Junxion Communications’ national and international databases and posted to the FANRPAN website.

Media work also included reporting on the Agriculture and Rural Development Day on 3 December and Forest Day on 4 December.

To maximise our efforts we suggested that the six journalists, two staff members from Junxion Communications and the communication and advocacy manager of FANRPAN be registered as media with the conference organisers as soon as possible. This suggestion was to facilitate access to the COP17 international media room to post FANRPAN news releases and have access to media presentations.

We further suggested that as the CEO of FANRPAN enjoys diplomatic status in South Africa, this could be done via the diplomatic route as the South African government was the custodians of the conference.

However, as the conference organisers limited the accreditation of journalists, FANRPAN provided letters of authentication to the invited journalists and to Junxion Communications. The accreditation process was still extremely cumbersome and bureaucratic. Only one of the trainers, Ben Rootman, received accreditation on 24 November - two days before the conference started.

Whilst accreditation was not a prerequisite to Junxion Communications being appointed, FANRPAN deemed it to be a worthy attribute to sound operations. The contract was signed on 25 November – not ideal time-wise but certainly challenging to deliver, whatever it takes.

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