2023 Environmental Communication School encourages young people to lead the environmental challenge "to make a difference"


The fifth edition of the Environmental Communication School kicked off this morning at the Miramar Palace in San Sebastian with a view to communicating environmental issues with and for young people. Organised by the Association of Environmental Information Journalists - APIA and the Basque Government’s Public Environmental Management Company, Ihobe, the school will be held on 7th and 8th September, as part of the Summer Courses of the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU) and the Donostia Sustainability Forum.

The opening was presided over by Aitor Aldasoro, the Basque Government’s Deputy Minister for the Environment and Sustainability, and Itziar Alkorta, Director of Summer Courses at the University of the Basque Country-UPV/EHU, accompanied by the President of APIA, María García de la Fuente. During his speech, Aldasoro highlighted the importance of this space to offer young people "knowledge in the communication of sustainability and climate change". He also wanted to point out the role of young people in addressing the environmental challenge. "What young people are doing to raise awareness in society in relation to protecting the environment, and regarding climate change, other forms of consumption and living more sustainably, in particular, is both important and encouraging," he said. In this respect, the Deputy Minister encouraged young people "to be agents of change and lead the way towards a more sustainable future".

The Environmental Communication School is a forum for debate that came about in 2019 with the objective of generating a space for reflection on the communication of major environmental challenges, offering key insights to address issues such as the climate crisis, the loss of biodiversity, nature conservation, the circular economy and sustainable development, among others. Under the title of "How to communicate environmental issues with and for young people", the fifth edition follows an eminently practical approach with the exchange of best practice cases that can inspire both communication professionals and other agents interested in environmental information reaching young people. The objective is for participants to acquire useful knowledge to effectively communicate environmental issues to young people, so that they can understand their importance and take action to protect the environment.

Inspiring Talks, TikTok and a Boat Experience

Young professionals in the field of environmental communication feature in the programme on both days. Javier Clemente, Head of Todos Somos Reciclaje has chosen to talk about 'How to communicate about the environment on social media without giving up'. He is followed by leading experts in environmental communication, such as Cristina Monge, political scientist, analyst and researcher in Governance for Ecological Transition; Laura Peinado, creator of sustainability content; Olatz Ortega, from the eco-feminist initiative, Ola Sin Plástico; as well as the environmental communicator, Diego Ferraz-Castiñeiras, Ecodiuku, who will discuss new ways of communicating via social media. Later, there will be a talk with Belén Hinojar and Carmen Huidobro, creator and environmentalist respectively, who are behind Climabar, a sustainability and ecology dissemination project with extensive presence on social media.

The first day's programme is rounded off in the afternoon with a practical workshop and an experience. Those attending in person will have the opportunity to visit Pasaia and board the MATER Ecomuseoa ship and discover in situ how it disseminates the protection of marine ecosystems. Those attending on-line, on the other hand, will have a film-forum with David Sánchez Carretero, Director of CIMASUB, the Donostia-San Sebastián International Underwater Film Cycle, and Enrique Talledo, environmental educator, documentary maker, cameraman and underwater photographer.

Friday 8th September will open with a talk by María del Carmen Aguilar-Luzón, President of the Association of Environmental Psychology-PSICAMB, in which she will explain how to generate climate awareness in young people, and how emotions can help transmit a message of change. It will also be possible to learn how the most followed Spanish media outlet on TikTok, AC2ALITY, was created by means of a presentation by its founder, Daniela Álvarez.

Finally, the summer course will offer two workshops. The first will focus on podcasting, with María José Montesinos, Director of the 'Por Naturaleza' podcast on RNE Aragón. The second will feature Maribel Ángel-Moreno, a journalist from Maldita.es, which will be dedicated to Twitch.