The “2nd World Symposium on Climate Change Communication” will focus on “addressing the challenges in communicating climate change across various audiences”, hence providing a platform for reflections on climate change communication research and practice. The Symposium will also offer a concrete contribution towards a better understanding and in catalysing further action to better communicate climate change. Furthermore, the event will serve the purpose of showcasing experiences from research, field projects and best practice to foster climate change communication among various settings and audiences, which may be useful and which could be adapted and replicated elsewhere.
The complexity of climate change means that appropriate approaches, methods and tools to communicate the problem and its various ramifications are urgently needed. Article 6 of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) clearly addresses the importance of climate change communication to the general public and reiterates the need to engaging the various stakeholders in debating this issue. It also highlights the responsibility of the UNFCCC signatories countries to develop and implement educational and public awareness programmes on climate change and its effects, to ensure public access to information, and to promote public participation in addressing communication issues.
A serious problem observed today is the fact that because the phenomena of climate change is global in nature, many people do not believe it is related to them. Yet, most impacts of climate change are local in nature. The sooner people (especially decision-makers but also representatives from industry, the housing and agriculture sectors, as well as ordinary citizens) realise that climate change is a matter that affects them and—as such—needs to be taken seriously, the more rapidly the required mitigation and adaptation measures may be implemented. In this context, communication on climate change can play a key role.
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