Our Mission: Food, Education, Medicine

Journalist? Apply for the EJN 2022 Virtual Reporting Fellowships to the UNCCD COP15

ejn - climateaction

Journalist? Apply for the EJN 2022 Virtual Reporting Fellowships to the UNCCD COP15

Earth Journalism Network (EJN) is inviting you to apply for a virtual fellowship program aimed at supporting selected African journalists to cover the 15th Conference of the Parties (COP 15) to the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) which will be taking place in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.

The UNCCD COP15 will be a key gathering to review progress made to control and reverse the further loss of productive land from desertification, land degradation, and drought.

The theme for this year’s event – ‘Land. Life. Legacy: From scarcity to prosperity’ – is a call to action to ensure that land, which is the lifeline on this planet, continues to benefit present and future generations.

The gathering will comprise representatives from national, regional, and local governments, science and research communities, the private sector, international and non-governmental organizations, as well as all forms of media, and they are expected to address these issues during the two-week event, which is scheduled to take place from 9th – 20th May 2022.


10 African journalists will be awarded virtual fellowships and receive training, mentorship, and other support to facilitate remote reporting on this important event. Earth Journalism Network is particularly keen on hearing from journalists with a background in reporting on land use, or any of the other key issues relevant to the conference.

Selected fellows will have the opportunity to engage with their fellowship cohort and share knowledge and ideas for effective reporting on the issues. They will benefit from a series of specially designed activities, including an orientation workshop, daily briefings, mentoring, and interviews and sessions with high-level officials.

Veteran regional journalists will provide valuable insight into the proceedings from on the ground in Abidjan, as well as tools, resources, editing, and guidance as needed to support fellows’ story production.

All fellows will also receive a communications stipend, to ensure that they have consistent access to the virtual activities of the fellowship.


To be eligible for the Fellowship, applicants must:

  • Be a professional journalist from or representing an established media house and reporting from a low or middle-income country in Africa;
  • Be of African citizenship;
  • Have a good command of the English language;
  • Have previous experience reporting on desertification and degradation issues, and can clearly indicate the kinds of stories they might pursue during the conference;
  • Be available between the 7th-20th May 2022;
  • Commit to participate in all Fellowship activities;
  • Provide a letter of support from an editor, producer, or supervisor who can confirm that your news reports will be published or broadcast in an established media outlet. Freelancers are welcome to apply but must provide a letter of support from a media outlet for which they intend to report.

Applicants will be asked to submit samples of their work, which can be uploaded as documents or web links. Stories can be in any language as long as they are accompanied by a short English synopsis. However, please note that a good command of English is a prerequisite for participation in Fellowship activities.

EJN respects the editorial independence of all fellows, and throughout the conference, fellows are free to report as they see fit. However, EJN asks that, in addition to the requirements above, fellows include a strapline in their stories acknowledging the support of EJN and agree to allow EJN to cross-post all stories produced as part of the fellowship on the Earth Journalism Network’s website and its local and regional partner sites (the Fellow’s home media outlet can first publish the story).

Evaluation criteria

Criteria for evaluating applicants will include the prospective fellows’ demonstrated experience covering desertification, climate change and other environmental topics, their interest in continued coverage of these issues, and their audience and outlet’s reach.

Application deadline

Applications for the 2022 UNCCD COP15 Reporting Fellowship is 25 March 2022, 11:59 PM, (UTC -11). Decisions will be communicated before the end of April.

Applications submitted after the deadline will not be accepted, please consider submitting at least one day in advance of the deadline to avoid any issues. This Fellowship program is being carried out with the generous support of Robert Bosch Stiftung.

For more information, contact: [email protected].

Related Post