Community podcast on climate negotiations: World politics for a local audience | Climate change and the media | DW | 26.03.2024
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Climate change and the media

Community podcast on climate negotiations: World politics for a local audience

Communicators from the Brazilian Amazon report on the UN climate change conference COP28 in a way that is accessible to their communities heavily impacted by climate change. This is a warm-up for COP30 in Brazil.

The COP28 UN Climate Change Conference in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, is regarded as the biggest of its kind so far. The complexity of the latest climate negotiations in December 2023, and the lack of community communicators participating in them, creates an information vacuum for the Amazonian population, who is heavily impacted by climate change.   

The podcast "Nós na COP" (We at the COP) aims to fill this gap. In five episodes, communicators from the Brazilian Amazon bring to their communities COP28's debates and decisions. 

This production is the result of the "Get Ready for the COP" project, a joint initiative of DW Akademie and the Brazilian NGO Saúde e Alegria, which enabled 10 communicators from the Brazilian Amazon to participate at the COP28.   

Vitoria Mendes, one of the project participants and producer of the podcast "Nós na COP" (We at the COP), shares her experience in the following.   

Dubai | Die Teilnehmer des Get Ready for the COP-Projekts der DW Akademie

Vitória Mendes works for the digital media InfoAmazonia and comes from Belém, a city located at the mouth of the Amazon River

"Any Brazilian who went to COP28 can probably agree: all anyone talked about was COP30, ours, which we're going to hold in Belém. At times, the conference in Dubai seemed like a warm-up for the 2025 conference.   

Climate and context

But I think I'm getting ahead of myself here. Let's look at the context: 

My name is Vitória Mendes. I'm a journalist and researcher and I took part in the "Get Ready for the COP!" project together with nine other grassroots communicators from the Amazon. The partnership between DW Akademie and the NGO Saúde e Alegria yielded a lot: an online preparatory course, a face-to-face stage in Santarém and the production of a podcast during the Conference of the Parties in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates. 

Dubai | Die Teilnehmer des Get Ready for the COP-Projekts der DW Akademie

Amazonian communicators are rare at international climate summits, and that is why they attract attention! 

We felt the spirit of freedom, collaboration and experimentation at the event. We arrived in Dubai with the idea of taking advantage of this huge gathering of people from all over the world to discuss the Amazon amid the climate crisis. We wanted to speak to our own people. That's how the "Nós na COP" (We at COP) podcast came about. 

We wanted to produce a timeless piece of work, anchored in a specific event, of course, but capable of informing and generating debate after the Conference. It was very rewarding and challenging. We divided scripting, research, interviewing and editing work among ourselves, according to our interests and skills. We also agreed that, along with hosting the episodes on digital platforms, they will be broadcast on popular radio stations. 

Many lessons in one place

Producing the podcast allowed the team to move around different spaces within the COP, giving an overview of what goes on there. We saw how negotiations are inaccessible spaces and how important it is to build relationships with informed observers. We learned, above all, from mistakes: getting lost from the group, entering the wrong places, not being able to find the right building, missing interview opportunities due to lost or unloaded equipment... all of this also teaches! 

Dubai | Die Teilnehmer des Get Ready for the COP-Projekts der DW Akademie

COP28 was also an opportunity to talk with political representatives and activists from their territories, such as Raquel Tupinambá, an indigenous authority of the Tupinambá people

We heard everything and interacted with people from social movements, academia, governments and many others. That's why we got the impression I mentioned at the beginning: COP30 really will be a milestone in climate negotiations. 

As a communicator, I returned to Belém, my city, with the feeling that we have a lot of homework to do. The main one is to collaborate on climate education. We need to master the technical vocabulary of climate negotiations, understand where we stand in terms of the commitments made by countries in the Paris Agreement and, above all, hope collectively, just like that, as a verb, because without practicing hope, mental health cannot cope with the climate crisis. 

You could see that at COP the future of the planet is at stake, and we need to learn who dictates the rules and, above all, how to apply social pressure so that the players on the right side can win." 

Dubai | COP28 | Teilnehmer des Projekts Get Ready for the COP

Undoubtedly, "Get ready for the COP!" brought realities together: Journalists from Cape Verde National Radio interviewed Luiza Cilente, Project Officer of DW Akademie, at COP28

The "Get ready for the COP!" project is supported by the German Federal Foreign Office. 

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