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Radio Azattyk Journalist Recognized for Coverage of Poverty and Environment

Radio Azattyk correspondent Kubanychbek Joldoshev, accepting first prize in the 2012 Environmental Journalism Competition at a December 4 ceremony in Bishkek.
BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan -- A journalist with RFE/RL’s Kyrgyz Service was recently honored by the U.N. for his environmental journalism. On December 4, Kubanychbek Joldoshev received first place and a $300 cash award in the 2012 Environmental Journalism Competition for his report, "New Scandals Around the Kumtor Gold Mine.” The competition was sponsored by the UNDP Environment Protection for Sustainable Development Program, UNDP-UNEP “Poverty and Environment Initiative” and UNDP Climate Risks Management in the Kyrgyz Republic Project, with the support of the CARNet informational network.

The competition considered over 70 works that focused on conservation in concert with social problems. Joldoshev competed along with 33 different works in the category “Best Media Coverage of Poverty and the Environment in Kyrgyzstan," which received almost half of all nominated work.

UNDP official Mira Djangaracheva highlighted the importance of this topic, saying, "Now we begin to understand how natural resources and the environment affects the quality of life of people and, conversely, what impact poor people have on the environment.”

This is a new and controversial topic for the competition, and UNDP Program Manager Alexander Temirbekov affirmed the importance of environmental journalism in policy-making, especially in at-risk regions like Kyrgyzstan. "It is a tool of social pressure on decision-makers," Temirbekov said.

Read more about the award at the UNDP in Kyrgyzstan website.

-- Tyler Lahey