Published: April 1, 2019
From left, panel moderator and CEJ Deputy Director Michael Kodas, Scripps fellow and Mongabay reporter Chris Lett and Mongabay reporter Taran Volckhausen

On March 20, Mongabay founder Rhett Butler, reporter Taran Volckhausen and Scripps Fellow Chris Lett led a panel discussion titled, “Global Environmental Journalism: Under Siege or Dawning Anew?”

In a time when environmental journalism resorts more and more to desk reporting, nonprofit news organization Mongabay is leading the way back to in-depth, investigative reporting from the field. The conservation and environmental science news site covers issues in the tropics related to deforestation, biodiversity, oceans, environmental defenders and more. Mongabay has a global audience of more than 30 million readers and publishes daily in nine languages via four international bureaus.

In December, Lett traveled to Ethiopia to report a Mongabay story about how women and faith are driving the effort to restore biodiversity. A main source of firewood for Ethiopia's largest city of Addis Ababa is thirsty, non-native eucalyptus, which has caused the water table to drop, resulting in a human-caused environmental disaster. “Thousands of women are carrying firewood on their backs, up to 200 lbs. every day so people can use it to cook,” Lett said. 

Watch a video of the entire panel discussion here.