The South Asian country of Bangladesh is home to a dynamic delta area facing the Bay of Bengal. The world’s largest mangrove forest lives at this intersection between land and sea. Fed by rivers flowing mostly from its upstream neighbor, Bangladesh relies on its river systems to sustain a densely growing population. And Bangladesh is struggling with both slow-onset and rapid-onset impacts of global warming. The country’s water, agriculture, and health sectors are the most vulnerable in this regard. Due to limited resources compared to the scale of the challenges, Bangladesh is now facing hurdles in taking adequate adaptation measures to tackle the harmful impacts of climate change.

Despite experiencing vulnerabilities to climate change, Bangladesh has begun carrying out many economic development measures that expand carbon emissions, including rapid industrialization. This development pathway can accelerate the destruction and degradation of the environment in many ways. The growing demand for rapid power generation is fueled by coal, liquified natural gas (LNG), nuclear, and other fossil fuels like diesel and furnace oil. The development of renewable sources is still limited. Over the last couple of years, air and water pollution has accelerated with rapid industrialization and urbanization playing a critical role. In some cases, new power plants are being built in forested areas or along river estuaries damaging the ecology. Simultaneously, meeting the resource demands of the rising population with an ever-limited landmass is putting pressure on Bangladesh’s forest cover, also impacting habitats for the country’s biodiversity.

Image by: Abu Siddique

Objectives of the project

Stories supported in this project will feature the scenes and science of Bangladesh’s response to climate change, including the solutions needed to address complex problems and reverse environmental degradation.

Suggested story topics and guidelines

We welcome proposals from experienced local journalists for conventional news stories, in-depth features, investigative reports, profiles, and case studies. We will also consider proposals for fully edited and produced videos of up to 10 minutes in length. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  1. The status of the freshwater crisis, including impacts, projections, and solutions. Transboundary issues are also of interest.
  2. Agriculture practices, needs, and adaptation approaches
  3. Biodiversity conservation, both terrestrial and marine.
  4. Energy transitions and industrialization
  5. Climate Change adaptation practices, mitigation measures, and finance

Each story needs to be between 800 to 1200 words in length and will include quotes from at least three original interviews. Authors will be expected to provide five to 10 publishable photos free for Mongabay’s use to accompany their articles and captions, and photo credits.

Mongabay will negotiate all fees and contracts on a per-story basis. Completed stories will be paid on a fixed fee basis, with rates depending primarily on the journalist’s experience.  Mongabay.com publishes under an open Creative Commons license that allows for sharing, translation, and re-posting.  More information on Mongabay’s editorial standards and practice can be found here.

How to submit your story pitch

To send Mongabay a pitch, please share your resume/portfolio along with three samples of your work. The story pitch should be roughly 500 words in length and include a title for the project.  Viable pitches will clearly explain the specific subject you would like to write about in detail and your approach to covering it and describe a few potential sources. Pitches for video-led stories should also include a shot list and a list of expected interviews.

Support for travel expenses may also be provided by Mongabay. Please include a preliminary travel plan and budget estimate (using this template) if support for travel expenses will be required to carry out reporting. Do not include payments for your work in this budget estimate. Please also describe the COVID-19-related precautions you intend to take and any travel restrictions that may impact your plans.