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This guide, published by the International Institute for Environment and Development, offers journalists — particularly those in developing countries — pointers on how to report biodiversity loss and its implications.

Biodiversity loss is a local story the world over and biodiversity is a major topic for science writers, especially in the developing world, says the author. But the issue is currently under-reported, partly because scientists and policymakers haven't communicated the issues in relevant ways.

Better, more meaningful stories can be told by showing people that they are part of biodiversity and by demonstrating how biodiversity loss will affect them.

There are many stories on the horizon in biodiversity reporting, from cataloguing the economic value of biodiversity to whether governments can agree on how the world can best share the benefits of biological diversity. Journalists should prepare for the challenge of reporting these issues, says the author.

Journalists, the author says, should also avoid disaster narratives and "flat, one-sided" stories. Instead balanced appraisals, probing different angles and asking hard questions are key to good biodiversity reporting. And a number of angles can make biodiversity relevant — for example how it links with health, money, politics and more.

Link to full guide from IIED [166kB]

This practical guide was written by Mike Shanahan at the International Institute for Environment and Development.