Organizations committed to EEAL continue using a 10-step Environmental Education and Communication Strategy (EECS) that aims at counterbalancing the low environmental awareness in Laos, and that has been employed by ProCEEd and ProFEB in 2013-2019 in order to reach their objectives.
A KAP survey in 2012 was the EECS' first step: It revealed that large sections of the rural population as well as many decision-makers lack knowledge about the correlation between sustainable development and environmental protection, biodiversity conservation and climate change. Mass media pay limited attention to environmental and climate-related issues, and their outreach in Laos is restricted by geographical, socio-economic and language barriers.
Since 2013, the 10-step communication strategy has been applied to mass media, non-formal education and training activities. A wide variety of print, broadcasting, online and social media as well as interpersonal and interactive EEA materials such as theatre plays, games and exercises have been produced.
In cooperation with ProCEEd, national and provincial mass media produced environmental magazines on TV and radio, and regular contributions to major newspapers. All media and non-formal environmental educational activities are multi-purpose in nature, i.e. interrelated and mutually supporting each other. For example, the photos gained through the photo competitions feed into the website, posters, travelling exhibitions or the Environmental Tours. Video clips or films produced for the TV program have been used for trainings, workshops, the website, non-formal education events or the Environmental Tours.
ProCEEd and its strategic partners, who are the EEAN member organizations today, have produced regular environmental TV and radio programs and newspaper columns at the national and provincial level which viewers, listeners and readers in Lao PDR can follow regularly. These nationwide and provincial mass media activities support the objective that knowledge, attitudes and behavior related to the environment, biodiversity and climate change in Laos will improve through better access to relevant information. Thus, rural target groups should be empowered to better mitigate and adapt to climate change and risks, and protect biodiversity and the environment in general.
Over the years, many Lao print and broadcasting journalists were trained on environmental journalism. For example, they participated in a one-week advanced training on environmental journalism with a renowned German and Thai colleague in 2014. Staff from provincial and d district radio stations in Khammouane, Houaphan, Sayaboury and Bolikhamxay joined a basic training workshop on environmental radio in late 2015. As a result, LNR Khammouane and LNR Houaphan broadcast regular environmental radio programs in 2016-2017. A Manual on Environmental Journalism created in 2019 summarizes related experiences, training modules, handouts and guideline.
Two more KAP surveys conducted in 2016 and in 2019 clearly show that the efforts of ProCEEd to improve environmental journalism in Laos have been successful. Especially the 2016 survey confirmed that ProCEEd-supported media have led to increased environmental knowledge and improved environmental attitudes among target groups. Media users felt better informed than non-users about climate change (+21%) or the extinction of animals and plants (+15%). Government, academic and civil society stakeholders working in the environmental sector in Vientiane, Khammouane and Houaphan stated that the content of the radio and TV features produced by ProCEEd partners improved significantly over time (77%) and 44% of them followed ProCEEd-supported environmental features on the radio, on TV or in newspapers. More than 37% listened to the Our Environment magazines on the national channels of LNR and LNTV which were coached and supported by ProCEEd until 2018. Stakeholders pro-actively remembered specific features related to forest protection, biodiversity, wildlife and various other environmental topics that they heard, saw or read on or in these media.