Journalist Scholarships2019-03-26T00:44:16+00:00

Good Growth Partnership Journalism Training Initiative

The Story Behind Deforestation : Reporting on Agriculture in the Amazon

Dates: 11 May to 17 May | Location: Lima and the Peruvian Amazon

Application deadline: 08 April | Organized by: UNDP Green Commodities Programme

The international media plays a powerful role in highlighting problems caused by deforestation driven by agricultural commodities such as palm oil, soy and beef. Despite extensive efforts over the past decade to slow tropical deforestation, in 2017 alone, the equivalent of 40 football fields worth of trees were lost every minute.

Ensuring the survival of tropical forest ecosystems is paramount. According to the 40 scientists who authored last year’s landmark IPCC report, the protection and restoration of forests would achieve at least 18 per cent of the global emissions mitigation needed by 2030 to avoid runaway climate change.

Yet, while the urgency to halt deforestation is becoming increasingly clear, the why and the how of doing so is not equally as well known.

To get to the bottom of the deforestation story, journalists must be empowered and equipped to engage on a deeper level. Underlying economic and political forces linked to deforestation need be acknowledged and further unpacked. Meanwhile, solutions and opportunities to reduce deforestation in commodity supply chains should be examined, critiqued and promoted.

About the Good Growth Conference Journalism Training Initiative

In collaboration with an independent media training consultant, the Good Growth Partnership will facilitate a shared learning experience between a group of eight selected journalists who will be awarded bursaries to attend the Good Growth Conference in Lima and the Peruvian Amazon.

The initiative will begin on Saturday May 11 with a two-day workshop in Lima, Peru, where the selected journalists will have the opportunity to debate ethics and test preconceived assumptions on deforestation and sustainable development.Journalists will be supported to build specific expertise, increase familiarity and a more nuanced understanding of key sustainability and development issues in major agricultural commodity supply chains.

The training will also teach journalists how to translate scientific and financial jargon in addition to providing practical guidance on storytelling techniques and digital mediums.

After attending a high-level session at the Good Growth Conference in Lima on May 13thwhere journalists will have the opportunity to interview global executives and regional government leaders — their journey will continue into the Amazon.

Immersed in the jungle, over four days, the selected journalists will have the opportunity to experience life in the rainforest, interact with commodity practitioners from all over the world, participate in technical sustainability workshops and dialogue, meet local community and indigenous leaders, and share skills as well as expertise with peers.


To successfully complete the training, journalists will develop and publish two stories which will be shared after publication with the group for discussion and peer support.

1)Within two weeks after the training workshop, journalists will be expected to work on and file at least one feature or news story for their home news organizations on the themes and issues explored and or presented during the conference. Examples could include an interview with a high-profile delegate, an announcement made at the conference, an in-depth analysis or opinion piece on the issues and themes raised during the event, a comparison between two countries, a feature profile on the Peruvian Amazon or stories about new innovations and potential solutions in the commodities sector.

2)Within four months after the workshop, using the skills and contacts generated during the training, journalists will be expected to have published one extensive feature story about a major agricultural commodity in their own country. Stories could be focused on sustainable development issues, trade, politics, innovations, environmental science, land use and a host of other themes.

Journalists will be paired with relevant UN country offices and supported throughout their four-month reporting and information gathering process with monthly check-in calls, access to a global network of contacts and encouragement from their workshop peers. Modest funding to support extensive in-country reporting is dependent on availability.

*Stories should carry a note at the end of the article acknowledging the support of the Good Growth Partnership. Journalists and their media organizations will own all rights to the published content.


  • Journalists working for respected domestic and international media organizations may apply. Freelance journalists can also apply, but they must demonstrate an extensive body of work.
  • Journalists working in any medium may apply — print, radio, TV, online, photojournalism, video etc.
  • Journalists must be able to speak English fluently, reporting can be conducted in local languages.
  • We are looking for mid to senior level journalists with a minimum of four years reporting experience.
  • Journalists should either be working full-time for a media organization, or be a freelancer whose main work is journalism.
  • Experience reporting on the environment, commodity trading and/or agriculture is desired.


Expenses related to training, modest lodging, international and domestic flights to the Amazon will be covered by the UNDP. Journalists will be required to cover some personal food and beverage expenses and some terminal expenses.

Please note that participants need to check visa requirements and ensure that they have the necessary documentation required. Visa costs and any other related costs will be the responsibility of the participant.

How to apply

Send your submission to the Good Growth Conference Journalism Training Initiative coordinator Rebecca.lake@undp.org. Please be sure to include the following:

  • One page C.V.
  • Two relevant work samples (maximum file size 5 MB) – in English if possible. For stories not in English, please include a 200-word English summary about the story.
  • A letter or email from your editor consenting to your participation in the programme and committing to publish/broadcast resulting stories.
  • One or more brief story ideas you would like to explore in your home country or region*.
  • A link to a short video statement on why you want to participate in this initiative. Please also mention your experience and what skills you can share with your fellow journalists (no more than two minutes).

*Please note you will be asked to submit one or more story ideas within your application. We will not share your ideas with anyone.


The deadline for submissions is midday on April 08 (GMT-4 – New York)


For more information please contact the initiative coordinator: Rebecca.lake@undp.org


The Good Growth Partnership Journalism Training Initiative is proudly brought to you by:

The Global Environment Facility, the UNDP’s Green Commodities Programme, Partnerships for Action on Green Economy with support from the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

For more information please contact the Journalism Training Initiative coordinator: Rebecca.lake@undp.org