Investigative Environmental Journalism Grants
Increasing awareness of environmental crime issues through financial support to investigative environmental journalists
Arendal, Norway, February 9, 2024 – GRID-Arendal proudly announces the winners of its 2024 Investigative Environmental Journalism Grants. Each grantee will receive 20,000 Norwegian kroner (approximately €1750) to support investigations into pressing environmental issues with potentially devastating consequences for humans and nature.
“This year, we screened over 250 applications, more than double the number from last year,” says project manager Romain Langeard. “We’re thrilled to connect with more journalists, and at the same time, we’re noticing higher quality proposals, so it’s a win-win for us!”
Maria Dalby, GRID-Arendal’s Head of Media Relations, shares Romain’s excitement. “It's not just about the grant; it's about making a meaningful impact and fostering stronger collaboration with the journalist community. Our goal is not only financial support but a lasting partnership for the greater good.”
Since 2015, GRID-Arendal’s Investigative Environmental Journalism Grant Programme, funded by Norad and run by GRID-Arendal’s Transboundary Governance and Environmental Crime Programme (TG&EC), has been a pillar of support for journalists in this field.
This year the Investigative Environmental Journalism Grants were supported by six different partners. The Global Investigative Journalism Network, the Earth Journalism Network, Code for Africa, the Society for Environmental Journalism, the Environmental Investigative Forum and the International Journalist’s Network. This support was a huge boost for the grant and helped it reach journalists all around the globe.
Valentin Emelin, Head of GRID-Arendal’s TG&EC Programme and creator of this grant program, reflects on its evolution: “It’s heartening to see the increasing diversity and impact of the investigations. Each year, the calibre of applications continues to impress, and this is the first year that the majority of shortlisted applicants and winners were women.”
Environmental crime is a multifaceted threat. It encompasses illegal logging and timber trade, illegal fisheries, illegal mining, poaching, illegal wildlife trade, toxic waste transportation and dumping, and more. This crime sphere not only harms the environment but also fosters corruption, undermines human security, damages livelihoods, local economies, and sustainable development prospects.
Often linked with terrorism, drug and weapons smuggling, and human trafficking, environmental crime is the world’s fourth largest organized crime sector, growing annually at an estimated rate of six per cent. Its complexity makes it one of the most challenging types of organized crime to address. Investigative journalism plays a crucial role in drawing international attention to these crimes.
To protect the journalists and their work, we cannot disclose many details about the upcoming investigations. However, we can share the focus areas of some grantees:
- Olatunji Olaigbe will investigate illegal practices in West Africa's renewable energy sector.
- Jazmín Bazán will explore the intersection of environmental contamination and cultural legacy in Bolivia.
- Gabriela Barzallo will investigate illegal wildlife trade in the Galapagos.
- Another grantee will investigate poaching in Tamil Nadu, India.
- Another will examine the criminalization of environmental defenders in Southeast Asia.
- Yet another will investigate land grabbing in the Brazilian Amazon, exploring its connections to livestock farming, forced labour, illegal mining, timber trade, and attacks on Indigenous Peoples.
We look forward to sharing their investigations later this year as they are published.
GRID-Arendal is dedicated to the continual development of its grant program, supporting investigative environmental journalism. The next call for applications will be announced on our website in Fall 2024.
For Press Inquiries, Please Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
About GRID-Arendal: GRID-Arendal is a non-profit environmental communications centre based in Norway. We specialize in transforming environmental data into innovative, science-based information products and offer capacity-building services for improved environmental governance. Our goal is to inform and engage a global audience, motivating decision-makers towards positive change. GRID-Arendal collaborates with the United Nations Environment Programme and various global partners.
Notes to editors
GRID-Arendal is a multidisciplinary team of experts on a range of global environmental issues who work together with partners to find solutions to global challenges.
GRID-Arendal was established in 1989 by the Norwegian Ministry of the Environment to support environmentally sustainable development by collaborating with the United Nations Environment
Release date: 09 Feb 2024