Communication and Environment: Sustainability and Risks
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There is a dearth of literature on environmental communication within the non-western world. The few existing ones are scattered and not easily available. Thus, there is a dire need to document research and literature in the field. The opportunity arose at the 2009 International Conference on Communication and Environment held in Penang, Malaysia. The international conference with the theme “Transformation for a Sustainable Tomorrow”, organised by the School of Communication, Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), attracted scholars, practitioners and activists from around the world to listen and deliberate on various aspects of communication and environment. The post-conference review resulted in the selection of 24 papers to be compiled into this edited volume. The escalating degradation of environment locally and globally was the main concern that prompted discussions on how sustainability can be advocated. The development process in many countries, economic activities and political decisions on issues such as deforestation for timber logging, rapid urbanisation, pertinently points out that environmental degradation and any communication on environmental change has to be grounded and located within the wider context of social, politics and economics of the society. Communication and environmental communication for that matter have also to be understood within these wider contexts. Many would agree that a constant and consistent flow of information communicated through different channels to different stakeholders at the right time and destinations can help raise awareness and consciousness of environmental problems, protection and preservation. This vital information can enable the public and stakeholders to make informed choices, and take actions whenever possible. A lack of communication and information will inordinately exacerbate the situation of environmental degradation. This book thus highlights how the environment is being treated in the media, communicated to the society and impacted nations. The chapters are grouped into the following sections: Theoretical and conceptual issues; Media content and the environment; Politics, communication and the environment; Corporate social and environmental responsibility; and Citizen participation, human rights and the environment. The editors acknowledge the excellent contributions of all the authors and are indebted to the members of the review panel, the external reviewer, USM Publications Committee and staff of Universiti Sains Malaysia Press for their help in ensuring the quality of this volume. Most importantly, we express our gratitude to USM for providing the financial support for the international conference and making it possible to publish this book.

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