In the context of the ongoing debate on the possible creation of an international organization on environmental communication I would like to invite readers of this blog to look into the “state of the art” around the world. I’ll start by pointing out a few aspects about Europe. Over the last five years or so, there are ample signs that environmental communication has grown substantially as a field of study on this side of the Atlantic.
- Last year, the Science and Environment Communication Section of ECREA (European Communication Research and Education Association) received over 110 submissions for the biannual conference that took place in Barcelona, divided roughly in half between science themes and environmental issues.
- A new online journal, the International Journal of Sustainability Communication, is now running into its fourth issue. The journal is based at the Institute for Environmental Communication at the University of Lüneburg in Germany.
- Infoamérica: Iberoamerican Communication Review, associated with the University of Málaga in Spain, has just launched its first issue, which is on Communication and Climate Change.
- In April this year, an international conference on Media and the Environment took place in Lisbon, Portugal. The sponsorship of the European Environment Agency brought additional official recognition of the importance of this area.
- Finally, colleagues may be interested in checking Sircome (Site the Réflexion sur la Communication Environnementale), a website that tracks and discusses events, campaigns and publications on environmental communication in France and elsewhere (site is in French and English).
These are just a few examples of European initiatives on what is a clearly expanding field, even if, in Europe’s case, somewhat partitioned by linguistic diversity. It would be very interesting to know more about what is going on in other parts of the world. Any volunteers to map the field?