Resources Himalaya Foundation and Environmental Graduates in Himalaya successfully organized the Guff Gaff program on August 25, 2021. The guest speaker for this session was Ms. Indira Aryal. Ms. Aryal is a reporter of the Rising Nepal and her focus is primarily on local and global environmental issues such as climate change and biodiversity conservation. In today’s program, she gave talk on the topic “Women in Conservation: Challenge and Opportunity.”
She started by giving an overview on the status of conservation journalism, which is developing in Nepal as many mainstream media has been covering news related to wildlife killing, poaching and conflicts in both online and print platforms. She stated that most of the news coverage has been focused on large animals like rhinoceros, elephant, and tiger, but ignored small animals.
Moving on with the challenges, she highlighted the numerous societal challenges in conservation journalism that come up while reporting from the field. She supported her point by giving example of the reporting a case of human wildlife conflict where the sentiments of the victims made it difficult to portray wildlife conservation. Additionally, as a woman reporter in field, there are many stereotypical thoughts that a woman reporter might face when in and outside of the fields. However, confidence is the key to overcome such challenges.
She also highlighted numerous opportunities in conservation journalism. Although most of the media houses in Nepal do not have bureaus for different fields like they do in many developed countries, conservation reporters receive huge support from the media houses. She pointed out that this field is not limited to people with educational background of journalism, but the reporting could be even better if people in conservation education carried out the reporting work. As there are less women in this field, there is huge prospect for women as well. She ended her talk with encouraging words to the aspiring writers who would want to start their journey in conservation journalism.