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March 10 , 2009

Communication and Environment: Sustainability and Risks


There is a dearth of literature on environmental communication within the

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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.

The Editors

January 2012

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