Potent and effective environmental communications can appeal to the people’s conscience and explain to them in relatively understandable terms why it is crucial to do the necessary here and now
Communication is the most crucial aspect of any modern-day world issue. It often makes or breaks for desired objectives and designed plans. Proper communication is the bridge that determines whether we are taking the route to success or failure.
As it is the age of specialization, even communication itself has taken many forms. One such form is environmental communication. It is the form of Communication which is focused on enlightening, educating, and raising awareness regarding environment-related topics. It is a crucial aspect of effectively disseminating content related to environmental matters.
Climate change is an immediate danger that threatens the entire human race. It is an issue that looms large for all people regardless of their race, religion or class in society. That is why it is imperative to have a clear line of communication between the environmental experts who have the knowledge regarding the ‘to-dos’ and ‘not-to-do’s and the general public who might be oblivious to the path of self-destruction.
Inclusive growth is crucial when adversity as widely relevant as climate change imposes itself. In order to effectively retaliate against it, the entire humanity needs to unite in its thinking and planning to get ahead of the task at hand.
It will be futile if only environmentally aware and educated people keep up their advocacy efforts and the general people are left behind with their limited knowledge of the challenges they face in the immediate future.
To gain sustainable momentum and bring about changes in the mass practices that have slowly built up this catastrophic issue, the masses simply need to be included. A colossal behavioural change needs to take place, which is impossible without intelligent and effective communication.
Like any sort of Communication, “Environmental Communication” intends to penetrate a target audience, who the content is designed for and disseminated to. Target audiences can differ as they can be one particular community or an entire country.
Each target audience is unique in the sense that they respond to different messages and the medium the message is conveyed through differently. For example, the envisioned communications material might be intended for a community located in a remote village.
Thus the materials will have to be designed according to the means available in the targeted location in order to reach maximum efficiency. The target audience may not have access to social media due to a lack of proper internet connection, so the envisioned Communications content must adopt a more conventional medium which maximizes outreach, like community radio.
Bangladesh being a country marred by natural disasters every fiscal year, has a plethora of environmental issues to deal with. Thus, Environmental Communication plays a pivotal role in managing natural catastrophes, which devastate numerous communities living on the brink of climate disasters and uncertainties that tag along.
It is crucial, though, to make it as relatable and straightforward as possible. Not everyone holds the requirements or ability to perceive an environmental finding or fact, which are usually jam-packed with scientific and formal terms, but it could be as relevant to them as it is to a scientifically competent person.
Therefore, it is widely believed that Environmental Communication should adapt a tone that is relatable to the common person, should be independent from over detailed analysis, have good analogies, present itself in infographics, represent genuine human stories which resemble the daily lives of a common person and fundamentally influence people into starting dialogues with each other and force them into thinking rather than ignoring the environmental issues which are largely considered to be a “problem for generations to come”.
Potent and effective environmental communications can appeal to the people’s conscience and explain to them in relatively understandable terms why it is crucial to do the necessary here and now. Climate Change is already here and creating devastating waves around the globe, evident through the catastrophic floods in Germany and the hurricane-related floods in the United States of America, while disasters till now were considered to be “third world disaster issues' '.
Going ahead, Environmental Communication will be imperative for organizations and experts working day in, day out to bring about necessary changes in practices and environmental adaptation to rescue the environment from the fast track path of total environmental destruction which is a result of years of ignorance and miscommunication on everyone’s part.
Environmental organizations and experts can utilize the medium’s nuances to effectively share the scientific information that are related to tackling climate change and other environmental issues. Environmental Communication goes a long way in simplifying over-complicated scientific matters for the general people, who are the majority, and if the majority become aware and responsible citizens with the sense to make environmentally responsible decisions, achieving environmental progress will become a realistic possibility.
Magnus Mayeen Ahmed is a Communications Officer at the International Centre for Climate Change and Development