TVE Asia Pacific (TVEAP) congratulates its long standing partner, the Nepal Forum of Environmental Journalists (NEFEJ), winning the 2012 edition of the UNESCO-IPDC Prize for Rural Communication.
The international award, which recognizes meritorious and innovative efforts to improve communication for rural communities in developing countries, was jointly awarded to NEFEJ and the Kenyan Arid Lands Information Network. It was presented at a ceremony held at UNESCO headquarters in Paris on 22 March 2012.
The two laureates share the US$ 20,000 Prize, awarded every two years following a recommendation to the UNESCO Director General by the Bureau of UNESCO’s International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC).
Raghu Mainali, director of Community Radio Support Centre of NEFEJ, accepted the prize on behalf of his organisation.
NEFEJ is a non-profit, non-governmental organisation established in 1986 for promoting and raising public awareness through all forms of media on issues relating to sustainable development and social justice.
Since its inception in 1986, NEFEJ – popularly known as 'the Forum' – has worked diligently through print, advocacy, television, and radio to achieve its main objective: to bring environmental and developmental information to the masses, which in turn will raise awareness, promote understanding, deliver justice and equity, and encourage conservation on both a local and national level.
In 1997, NEFEJ created the first community radio in Nepal, Radio Sagarmatha, marking a breakthrough in NEFEJ's struggle to promote community radio in the country. It is also the first independent public radio station in the whole of South Asia.
In 2009, TVEAP’s Saving the Planet Asian regional TV series featured Radio Sagarmatha’s efforts to mediate between tourism developers and local community in Nagarkot, a popular resort in Nepal.
While nurturing Radio Sagarmatha, NEFEJ has been providing assistance to other community radio stations which were established later by various citizen groups and other NGOs. For this purpose, it launched the Community Radio Support Centre (CRSC) in 2000.
“The organisation was instrumental in building up the legal and policy environment for Community and independent broadcasting in Nepal. It has trained over 125 radio stations' journalists, technicians and program producers and managers,” says its director Raghu Mainali.
Read full interview with Raghu Mainali, on UNESCO website
UNESCO-IPDC is a multilateral forum in the UN system designed to mobilise the international community to discuss and promote media development in developing countries. The Programme not only provides support for media projects but also seeks an accord to secure a healthy environment for the growth of free and pluralistic media in developing countries.
The UNESCO-IPDC Prize for Rural Communication was set up in 1985 by the Executive Board of UNESCO following a decision of the 5th session of IPDC’s Inter-governmental Council.
Awards ceremony photos courtesy: Alfonso Gumucio, Bolivia