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Balochistan forum of environmental journalists (BFEJ)- an introduction

Balochistan being the area wise biggest province of Balochistan covering almost 43 per cent of total land mass of Pakistan but has smallest portion of population living in this province. This most backward province of the country faces host of problems to be competitive with rest of her sister provinces but literacy rate shows a most dismal picture. With the literacy rate so low; any idea to get the life articulated with the modern requirements becomes even harder at any tier, what to say regarding any initiative taken at civil society level with out any reasonable financial support. It had been felt that this province needed some activity in the field of environment at journalistic level.

Finding a chance during a training workshop for district correspondents arranged by IUCN in April 2003, an initiative was taken for setting up of a forum to highlight the issues regarding environment in Balochistan at district level. Thus Balochistan forum of environmental journalists (BFEJ) came into being. The basic organization structure was decided to be consisting of district coordinators at district levels and a provincial body headed by president of forum at provincial level. The forum started to function immediately after its inception and reports/articles started to appear in the newspapers by BFEJ member journalists. BFEJ strive to invoke interest of local bodies into issues pertaining to environment and gave follow up to schemes concerning environment.

The role of IUCN remained extremely productive and it provided support to BFEJ in capacity building of its members by providing them appropriate training and dissemination of knowledge through environment literature. The objectives set by BFEJ for its member reporters was not sophisticated but simple enough relating to day to day problems facing by the inhabitants of town and villages in the interior of Balochistan. The water pollution was marked as one of the major issues and it was felt that public awareness regarding this single issue might lead to a big achievement. In the form of BFEJ now Balochistan has a forum, though at present too feeble to be noted, but it has the potential to grow into a body which would be able to take on even mega issues regarding environment in Balochistan. At present the members of BFEJ are active in 20 district of Balochistan. They are active not only to generate various reports covering almost all aspects of local environmental issues but they also help to mark the international days and remain proactive with concerned departments whenever some issue regarding environment comes across.

Contact:

Mr. Kaleem A Khan
Chief Reporter
Daily Independent 18-Syed Building
M.A. Jinnah Road, Quetta.
Ph:842938




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© 2004 IUCN Pakistan, Balochistan Programme
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