Essay: Why I should win the opportunity to cover the International EcoHealth Forum 2008?

I believe I should win the opportunity to cover this event because I could give important visibility to current research on health and environment both in the website where I work and in other publications I regularly write for. Furthermore, I can act as a multiplier of my experience covering this forum by sharing information and contacts collected during the event with colleagues.

I work as the editor of Ciência Hoje On-line (www.cienciahoje.org.br) – the electronic version of a monthly magazine published by the Brazilian Association for the Advancement of Science (SBPC). Ciência Hoje was created in 1982 by a group of researchers intending to enhance the public visibility of Brazilian science. It features articles written by both scientists and journalists and aimed at the general public. Besides reproducing texts from Ciência Hoje, CH On-line has its own exclusive news stories published in a daily basis. The team of these publications includes ten journalists and three journalism students interested in developing their skills for science reporting.

Our website and magazine give considerable importance for environment and health issues, covering mainly (but not limited to) themes of national interest. Among the issues most frequently covered in our articles, are the way Brazil is facing climate change and its impacts; the role of the Amazon in the global warming scenario; the challenge of finding a model of sustainable development and fighting deforestation driven by the pressure for more land for agriculture and cattle; the challenge of maintaining Brazilian energy policy heavily based on ethanol and other biofuels, without affecting native vegetation and food production; and the recurrent epidemics of diseases linked to poor basic infra-structure and to the expansion of cities over areas of natural vegetation areas.

Not surprisingly, these issues will be addressed in the main conferences of the International EcoHealth Forum. I am convinced that covering this event will allow me to keep updated with the latest tendencies in research and policies regarding health and environment, and this will improve my every daily work as the editor of CH On-line. Moreover, the forum is especially relevant to Latin American journalists, because important questions of regional interest will be discussed by specialists.

I can give visibility to the debates of the forum by publishing in CH On-line several news stories inspired by conferences and contacts made during the event. A feature article or a longer report could also be published in Ciência Hoje print version. Finally, I could propose news stories about the forum to two publications I regularly write for as a free-lancer: Biofutur, a French magazine on biotechnology, and SciDev.Net, a website focused on science issues relevant for the developing world.