For its March 2021 newsletter, the International Environmental Communication Association (IECA) interviewed IPEN Co-Chair Tadesse Amera about his role as an environmental communicator, why he wanted to do this work, and the challenges he has faced. In addition to his role with IPEN, Dr. Amera is a co-founder and current executive director of PAN Ethiopia, which works to advance principles of safety and sustainability in agriculture. The IECA newsletter was edited by Shirley Ho and Hanna Morris and is presented here in its entirety.
IECA: Was there a significant life experience that helped shape your attitude toward the environment? If so, what was it?
Amera: In a small town at the northwestern part of Ethiopia, I followed what my friends used to do routinely. Studying inside a small forest at the periphery of the town together with closest friends, swimming in a small river and drinking water from a natural spring that flows all year round remains at the top of my childhood memory.
From 19 – 20 August, the IPEN Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia region (EECCA) Regional Workshop was completed in Volgograd, Russia. The workshop was conducted by Eco-Accord - the IPEN EECCA hub, and by "Volgograd-Ecopress" Information Centre.
The IPEN Francophone Africa Hub, Centre de Recherche et d’Education pour le Développement (CREPD) organized its second regional meeting from the 30thto 31stMay 2019 in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire. The last Francophone Africa Regional meeting took place in Yaoundé, Cameroon in December 2016. This meeting was an opportunity to share experiences and build the capacities of Participating Organizations (POs). The meeting was attended by POs from the Francophone Africa region, the Regional Coordinators of the Anglophone Africa and North Africa & Middle East hubs, and an IPEN Co-Chair.
IPEN’s regional meeting for the South Asia Region was conducted from 17-19 April, 2019 in New Delhi, India. The three-day meeting with regional participating organizations (POs) was organized by Toxics Link, IPEN’s hub for South Asia Region. A total of 26 POs from Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka participated in the event.
This was the first of its kind meeting and was very crucial in bringing the POs together to have a better understanding of each other’s work.
(Göteborg, Sweden) Dr. Tadesse Amera, the distinguished environmental scientist and Director of Pesticide Action Nexus (PAN)-Ethiopia, has been elected as IPEN Co-Chair, the highest level in the global network. Dr. Amera will share chairing responsibilities with Co-Chair Pamela Miller of Alaska Community Action on Toxics. The network of over 500 public interest environmental health NGOs in more than 125 countries is united to eradicate the world’s most harmful substances for a toxics-free future for all.
Best known for a pioneering agro-ecology initiative that models organic alternatives to eliminate highly hazardous pesticide use in cotton cultivation, Dr. Amera has advanced numerous environmental health initiatives at local, national and regional levels and leads health and environmental engagements in high-level international policy making fora.
IPEN held a Regional Meeting from 4 - 6 June, 2018 in Puerto Princesa City, Philippines for its Southeast & East Asia regions. Approximately 30 participants from 16 IPEN Participating Organizations (POs) and 2 observer NGOs, from 10 countries, attended the meeting. Find the full program here.
The overall goal of the meeting was to enhance collaboration among IPEN POs in the region and maximize knowledge exchange around different environmental health and chemical safety issues and strategies.
“I think the concept of the meeting was very inspiring. I learned a lot and I’ve been encouraged to do something new back in China,” said Mao Da from Nature University, an IPEN Participating Organization in China.