Environmental Spaces in Community Radio. Grundvig Learning Partnership Meeting. Sheffield, England 23-25 May 2012
Representatives from Basque Country, France and Ireland met in Sheffield to shared their experiences on environmental content in Community Radio. The meeting was hosted by Sangita Basudev of Sheffield Live and attended by Susana Albarran of Radio Vallekas, Patrice Berger of Radio Pleuriel & Radio d’ici St. Julien Molin Molette, Mikel Etxebarria of Radio Kultura, Noel McGuinness and Zandra Ball of NEARfm. Each participant spoke about their work and their radio station. All participants were interviewed on Sheffield Live’s Communities Live programme and there was discussion on the possibility of using Skype and recording interviews amongst the participants /presenters in other community radio stations as a way of providing information to listeners on what is happening in communities elsewhere. Noel McGuinness produced a radio programme including some interviews with the partners atteding the meeting, and it is available here. Joan of the Sheffield Campaign Against Climate Change & spokesperson for Sheffield Climate Alliance, and Chris a local environmental campaigner, Sandra Karina Romo Guerra, a freelance radio producer from Mexico who works with people who are disadvantaged sat in on the meeting. Joan spoke about the U.K.’s “One Million Climate Jobs” campaign which has been developed in collaboration with trade unions and allied with other groups. The campaign lobbies local and national government, promotes and organises national and local days of action, organises film shows, talks and events and works with others to aid their campaigns. Some results of this campaign have been putting a turbine in the river to produce electricity and using green waste to make compost. Locally this campaign is called “Ten Thousand Climate Jobs for Sheffield”. The jobs would be anything that leads to the reduction of CO2, e.g. the insulation of houses, organic agriculture, fitting solar panels, etc. and with the aim of using 50% less heat and power. The campaign has involved singers, artists and poets to promote the message and Joan suggested that this method could also work on radio. She summarised the aims of the campaign as follows: having a fair and effective international treaty on climate change and decisive action to facilitate low carbon lifestyles. A useful website is www.sheffield.campaigncc.org. Chris is an environmental activist involved in a cooperative that produces, runs and maintains websites. He said that because the renewable energy situation is so bad in the U.K. the cooperative is now using services from Iceland because that country uses hydro and geothermal energy production. He also said that the law in the U.K. relating to the hosting of websites makes it unsuitable for hosting radical comment. The International Modern Media Institute (www.immi.is) is an Iceland-based foundation working towards rethinking media regulation, securing free speech and defining new operating principles for the global media in the digital age. It wants to help protect freedom of the press globally by researching best practices in law and promoting their widespread adoption. General discussion took place regarding the need for environmental activism. Matters of concern included the fact that established political parties are only supporting businesses and that there are very few eco-activists in positions of power. In the U.K. trade unions are a powerful force of influence and it is very worthwhile to have them on board the eco-activist campaign. Developing international relationships among community radio stations would add strength to the message of environmental conservation and lead to a united voice which would be more powerful. It was agreed that the pooling of ideas, exchanging of programmes and the use of Skype would be of benefit in this regard. For more information:www.ecoshock.org – Radio Eco Shock covers a variety of environmental issues and is broadcast once a week from Vancouver. Programmes can be downloaded online and for blogging there iswww.ecoshock.info; www.radio4all.net is a site where anyone can upload radio shows and share them;www.transitionnetwork.org supports community-led responses to climate change and shrinking supplies of cheap energy; www.crisisofcivilisation.com is another website of interest.
Here you can find the Paris Declaration