Patrick Mayoyo
Mr Patrick Mayoyo, founder and Director of Editorial Innovations at Next Generation Media Ltd, receiving European Commission’s Lorenzo Natali Media Prize 2016, Europe Professional Journalism Prize from Richard Jones, Associate Editor at Devex. [ PHOTO/EU ]

Award-winning journalist Patrick Mayoyo has been declared the 2021 “The Prince Albert II of Monaco & UNCA Global Prize for coverage of Climate Change” gold winner. The United Nations Correspondents Association (UNCA) announced the winners on Wednesday (8th December) during the award ceremony at Cipriani 25 Broadway in New York.

The U.N. Correspondents Association (UNCA) is a professional organization of over 200 correspondents and producers from dozens of countries, representing scores of publications, news agencies, and broadcasters from all regions of the world. It was founded in 1948.

The relationship between the United Nations Correspondents Association, as the organization representing the U.N. press corps, and the Secretary General is based on an agreement in 1955 and is recognized annually by the United Nations General Assembly, most recently, in 2018.

The Prince Albert II of Monaco & UNCA Global Prize for coverage of Climate Change  is supported by Prince Albert II of Monaco, who has committed to promote the well-being of vulnerable communities and the sustainable and equitable management of natural resources.

In their citation, the judges described Mayoyo as a Kenyan investigative reporter and environmental enthusiast whose submissions consisted of important and complex environmental stories on how Kenyan villagers are using carbon credits and indigenous knowledge to fight the effects of climate change; and the environmental impact of the shift in Tectonic plates linked to rising water levels in lakes in Kenya’s Rift Valley.

“His stories highlight deforèstation and the destruction of the Mau Forest ecosystem as a major contributor to massive flooding. Mayoyo’s work is characterized by a combination of vivid on-the-ground reporting, supplemented by relevant scientific analysis and UN reports,” the citation notes.

Stephanie Fillion, a Canadian journalist specializing in international affairs and based at the UN won the silver medal, while Sara Manisera a freelance reporter in Italy won the bronze medal. In 2018, Mayoyo won the bronze  medal in the same category for climate change stories on why Kenya did not have to invest in a coal plant in Lamu County at a time the world was moving away from fossil fuel power plants.

When asked how it felt like to win the The Prince Albert II of Monaco & UNCA Global Prize for coverage of Climate Change  Mayoyo quipped; “The award is a badge of honour in environmental reporting, and it validates my commitment to raising awareness on issues around climate change.”

Mayoyo was also the runner-up winner in 2018 during the 10Th Kulish Excellence in International Journalism Awards won by Ghana’s controversial undercover investigative journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas, for his expose that detailed how part of Ksh 17 billion (US$164 million) loans meant to improve Rift Valley Railway (RVR) services by buying new locomotives was used on purchasing used ones that were modified at a cost of six times their value.

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Mayoyo, the founder and Director of Editorial Innovations at Next Generation Media Ltd that publishes Daily Reporter and Africa Eco News is also the winner of the 2017 Nobert Zongo Investigative Journalism Prize for same stories that highlighted theft of billions of shillings in taxpayers’ money at Rift Valley Railway (RVR).

A story on how Kibra residents had embraced sack-farming to cope with effects of climate change and food insecurity, that was published by The Guardian of UK won Mayoyo the 2015 European Commission’s Lorenzo Natali Media Prize.

Mayoyo is also the winner of the 2014 CNN Multichoice African Journalists Awards environment category for his series of stories on disappearing glaciers on Africa’s mountains due to effects of climate change.

The veteran journalist also won the online and overall 2013 African Climate Change and Environmental Reporting Award (ACCER) for his series of stories on disappearing glaciers on Africa’s mountains.

He is also the 2007 World Social and Environmental Responsibility journalism award winner for an expose on how international oil companies prospecting for oil in Africa did so without adhering to internationally accepted principles for sustainable development.

The London School of Journalism trained journalist is a 2019 fellow of Dunia: Journalism Climate Emergèncy  project and the 2015 fellow of the African Climate Change and Environmental Reporting (ACCER) awards.

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