2015 UN-Water Annual International Zaragoza Conference. Water and Sustainable Development: From Vision to Action. 15-17 January 2015

Interviewing Marianne de Nazareth, journalist, India

Marianne de Nazareth, journalist, India

Marianne de Nazareth

What water-themed work have you been working on (reporting, editing research)?

I write stories on water issues for a variety of online and print media. The Hindu, which is one of India's top newspapers, regularly publishes my work.


Countercurrents.org is another well received website on which my stories appear. My latest there
-- http://www.countercurrents.org/nazareth260614.htm

I also blog on an international blog forum for journalists writing on RWH (Rain Water Harvesting). http://journalistsforrwh.blogspot.in/

For the coming month I have written on the Campal Creek in Goa and how a citizen group is cleaning up the lake for a magazine called Ecoearthcare. It has a website presence -- http://www.ecoearthcare.com/

What areas of your work in water have generated the most significant public response?

My stories on rainwater harvesting have definitely got a very good response. But I must say that all water related stories get a good response in India primarily because fresh water is at such a premium today. Plus with Facebook I am able to spread my stories among my large network of friends and colleagues.

What barriers are there to reporting on environment and sustainable development issues in your region (eg. lack of public interest, censorship, pressure from advertisers etc)?

The barriers in the past that I experienced were editorial. Fortunately now the newspapers and online portal editors are happier to publish an experienced journalist’s work. When they are aware of your credentials, they are more open to your stories. I have not had problems since going freelance, but I did have problems when I was with only one publication.

What is tough to sell to editors in water/sustainable development/environment? Why do you think this is the case? Please detail with specific examples from your experience

It is tough to sell a report. However if you make the story like a feature only then will it get past the gatekeeper. Check this link in the Hindu --- http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-in-school/its-water-day-every-day/article5811672.ece

What do you feel has been successful and unsuccessful in your work in this area? Please detail with specific examples from your experience

I have found if the story is 'preachy' no one wants to read it. But if I write about how it will save money and load the link on Facebook I get a good response. The stories must have a lot of quotes so a lot more papers are sold, only then will they be accepted. Check how the story on composting that I just wrote was allowed, in fact it was heartening that they used two pictures as well ---

Take it off the street

-- http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-features/tp-metroplus/take-it-off-the-street/article6628057.ece

This is my alertnet Reuters story which has been linked to the government BWSSB website! So the government is very aware of our work and appreciate it.



Please present your proposals for communications and media projects. This is your chance to pitch the UN.

1) The World Bank I have heard is helping projects in Karnataka. Could the UN fund a Rain Water Harvesting project in Karnataka or Goa to help raise the awareness of RWH in the state?

2) There is the Campal Creek in Goa and an NGO called Goa for Giving is trying to clean it up. They need help; I could connect the NGO with the UN. There is a lake there as well in a village called Pilerne where migratory birds come and is being filled with debris which land sharks will definitely take over. Could the cleaning of the lake be taken up as a project?

What is the criteria for funding a project?Yes I am a journalist but could I work as a go-between to bring both parties together for mutual benefit? I am very passionate about water issues so any support is welcome.

You are expected to produce some work at the conference. What do you plan to do?

I normally sit in at the sessions I know will generate a story and work once I return. I do not do small reports. My stories are features so at the conference I collect all my data and take it back with me to work in India.

Anything to add? Suggestions for questions to add to the debate would be welcome.

If the stories I plan to write need pictures will I be supported with them from the presenters or the organizers?

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>> Accommodation
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The vision

>> Rio+20
>> Water and sustainable development
>> Global commitments on water
>> A post-2015 global goal for water
>> Water and the Open Working Group (OWG)
>> The role of actors involved

The action

>> Capacity development
>> Financing and economic instruments
>> Governance frameworks
>> Technology

Action on…

>> Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH)
>> Water Resources Management
>> Water Quality
>> Risk management

14 January: Pre-Conference Side events and Technical Visits

>> Technical visit: La Cartuja
>> Technical visit: The Ebro River Basin Authority and its Automatic System for Hydrologic Information (SAIH)
>> Technical visit: Expo + Water Park
>> New sources: Wastewater reuse
>> Local level actions in decentralized water solidarity towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals
>> Water Footprint Assessment
>> Technological advances and Water Policy
>> Cultivando Agua Boa Programme
>> CODIA and water and energy in LAC
>> The fulfillment of the human right to water and sanitation

15 January: Setting the scene and the context

>> Achieving sustainable water for all in LAC
>> Achieving water security for Asia and the Pacific
>> Ensuring implementation of the water-related SDGs in Europe
>> Setting the scene

16 January: Whose action?

>> Academia
>> Business
>> Civil society
>> Governments and local authorities
>> Media and Communicators

17 January: Integrating knowledge and the way forward

>> Multi-stakeholder dialogue on tools for implementation


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