Twelve Russian journalists received hands-on training on how to provide better coverage of the effects of climate change in mountain regions. Green Horizon's chief editor Pavel Antonov led the course, which took place at the foot of Mt. Elbrus, Russia's and Europe's highest peak (5,642 metres). The second course trainer was Steve Connor, science editor of the UK's Independent newspaper. The Russian REC organised the course, while the UK Embassy to Moscow provided funding. Instruction was carried out according to a hands-on methodology developed in 2002 by Green Horizon and the Guardian Foundation. Each journalist worked on a feature story that the trainers reviewed and commented on; these stories were then published or broadcast either in Russia or abroad.
Accompanied by scientists from the Moscow State University, journalists hiked up to the Mt. Elbrus glaciers to study how and why they are melting. Interviews with park administration personnel, various experts and local and national authorities assisted the journalists in preparing high-quality articles.
The stunning natural beauty of the mountain and its surroundings proved a major source of energy and inspiration for everyone present, according to Antonov, who added that it was good to work with young, energetic and inspired people who are willing to work and generate positive change in their country. Connor, meanwhile, found the training both fascinating and informative.
"It gave me great insight into the working practices and thoughts of Russian environmental journalists, as well as those of the very capable representatives of REC Russia, who did a splendid job in making it all happen," Connor said.