Homegrown Vermont NGO Joins Prestigious United Nation’s Environment Programme

February 24, 2016 • Serial Dramas, Issue Advocacy, News

SOUTH BURLINGTON, VT– A Vermont-based international development nonprofit, Population Media Center (PMC), has been granted consultative status to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

“We’re excited and proud to have achieved accreditation by UNEP,” says Joe Bish, PMC’s Director of Issue Advocacy. “The application process was exhaustive, but PMC’s robust, 17 year history of international development and environmental sustainability initiatives served us well.”

PMC currently employs eight Vermonters at their South Burlington headquarters, along with scores of staff around the world. PMC is now authorized to attend the UNEP’s plenary sessions and ministerial consultations, circulate written statements to Governments through the UNEP Secretariat, and make oral statements at the United Nation’s Environmental Assembly (UNEA).

“Some say it’s a big role for a small organization,” says Missie Thurston, PMC’s Director of Marketing and Communications, “but PMC’s experience is vast and our humanitarian approach—focusing on empowering women and individuals to address environmental concerns—brings an important perspective and opportunity to the work.”

UNEP is the world’s leading global environmental authority, determining the world’s environmental agenda, promoting the implementation of sustainable development within the United Nations system, and serving as an authoritative advocate for the global environment.

PMC is a nonprofit leader in entertainment-education dedicated to global health, women’s empowerment, poverty alleviation, and the environment.

“Accreditation with UNEP makes perfect sense for PMC,” says Bish. “Our unique entertainment-education programs—dramatic, engaging fictional stories with educational characters and plot twists—have aired all around the world. All of our programs address human health, human rights, and environmental issues.”

PMC worked with the Rwanda Ministry of Environment on a reforestation effort, producing a 312-episode radio drama called Umurage Urukwiye (“Rwanda’s Brighter Future”). The dramatic program included characters and storylines that promoted sustainable farming techniques, the conservation of mountain gorilla habitat, and tree planting. Interwoven with standard environmental issues were themes about nutrition, financial literacy, family planning, and gender equality. PMC has also recently launched Pambazuko (“New Dawn”) in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo which will also address a number of environmental concerns, such as species protection.  PMC believes that healthier families, empowered with new information, lead people to be better stewards of their future as well as better stewards of the Earth.

“There are many aspects to the environmental challenge facing the world,” concluded Bish. “We are an innovative, solution-oriented organization and are committed to working diligently with UNEP—by inspiring, informing, and enabling nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations.”

For over 40 years, civil society non-governmental organizations like PMC have been key contributors to implementing the UNEP mandate, bringing their unique perspectives into environmental policy-making at the international, national, and local levels.



Population Media Center is a nonprofit, international nongovernmental organization, which strives to improve the health and well-being of people around the world through the use of entertainment-education strategies, like serialized dramas on radio and television, in which characters evolve into role models for the audience for positive behavior change. Founded in 1998, PMC has years of field experience using entertainment-education to change behavior, impacting more than 50 countries around the world. www.populationmedia.org


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