DUBLIN - Recruited to Ireland with the promise of good wages, fishers from the Philippines travel - often in debt after paying illegal recruitment fees - across the world to provide better opportunities for themselves and their families. But a work permission scheme, introduced following exposure of trafficking and exploitation of undocumented workers in the sector, has now become a vehichle to exploit the same workers it was introduced to protect, according to workers' advocates. 

Two articles, one story - noise pollution in Western Balkans. Although constantly underestimated, this pollution is disturbing citizens of the region’s capitals on a daily basis. Unfortunately, noise has become a habit, which is precisely what should not happen.

BRATISLAVA - A couple from Slovakia imported hundreds of frogs from Central America to the EU, completely legally. However, the woman was later apprehended in Germany, where police seized over 100 frogs from her. Some of them of the kind which was never in history imported to Europe legally. Turns out, her husband is a well known person for conservationists in Panama, and for all the wrong reasons. 

Asbestos is more lethal than previously known. New figures, recognized by EU-institutions show that 70 000 – 90 000 Europeans die of asbestos related cancer each year.

Campobello di Mazara –  Bearing the brunt of deadly heat waves and extreme weather, migrant farm workers in Italy and Spain are on the frontline of Europe’s climate emergency. While the media has focused on the impact of rising temperatures on European citizens, hundreds of thousands of migrant labourers in Italy and Spain toil away in 45°C temperatures picking olives, harvesting tomatoes, planting seeds, and irrigating crops. 

RJIM MAATOUG - Importing the Saharan sun to supply Europe with clean and low-cost energy : this is the dream that European countries have been entertaining with certain players in the private energy sector for decades. Once buried, projects to export solar energy from the North African deserts to European shores are now resurfacing. 

MALELA - This investigation documents the company's environmental damage in a Mangrove natural park, foremost among which is its ground-level flaring, a practice that has been banned in the country since 2015, and which is the cause of very high CO2 emissions and very significant nuisance for agricultural activities, the main means of subsistence for the populations. 

 

WORLD - Cereal is the new petroleum, farmland the new reservoirs of oil, and ships loaded with grain are the new pipelines. As the value of crops increases, every country in possession of this resource is in a position of power, and its transport to market is a politically-charged operation.

LONDON/TIRANA - Our team reported on the field in Albania, traveling to the cities of Tirana, Kukes, Elbasan and meeting young people who had recently been forcibly returned from the UK after arriving in small boats across the English Channel from Calais, France.

CAÏRO - This year, Egypt is hosting the international climate summit COP27. An African first of symbolic importance, but international organisations like Amnesty International point to the serious abuses in Egyptian prisons. They see the Egyptian presidency as an attempt to polish the regime's image before the international community.

In 2006, the British company Tullow Oil discovered oil reserves in the Albertine Region of northwestern Uganda, with 6.5 billion recoverable barrels. At the beginning of 2022, the French oil company Total secured an agreement with the governments of Tanzania and Uganda and the Chinese state company CNOOC to start constructing the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP). The project will create the largest oil heated pipeline covering 1,443 kilometres between Hoima in Uganda and Tanga in Tanzania, from where the crude oil will be exported.

MINSK - "Belarusian government allocated money from the budget to fund projects of Chyzh and Tomaševskij. Businessmen have been given benefits and exclusive opportunities to increase their income."

In 1987, a year after the Basel environmental disaster that left 1.5 million fishes dead in the Upper Rhine, nine European countries met and promised to restore the river including reintroducing Atlantic salmon by the year 2000 in its natural reproduction habitat in Switzerland. 35 years later, migratory fish travel up the river but are still stuck in France and can’t enter the Swiss confederation.

According to a 1980 international UN law, the Northeastern Atlantic countries must meet regularly to agree on a fishing quota for each country––so that everybody gets a fair share and fish stocks don't get overfished. The multilateral agreements are supposed to ensure that no government exploits the moving fish resource within their borders.

The Sinking Cities Project is an ambitious, six city investigation into how coastal area are preparing for the threat of climate change-caused sea level rise. Brought to you by Unbias the News and The Dublin Inquirer, the investigation targeted Alexandria, Egypt; Dhaka, Bangladesh; Dublin, Ireland; Karachi, Pakistan; Lagos, Nigeria and Rotterdam, Netherlands.

KYIV - This story is about the readiness of Ukrainian iron and steel industry – the second largest generator of foreign exchange earnings and a significant polluter, to implement green production technologies after the end of the war.

VILNIUS - Infrastructure for cycling is patchy in Lithuania, despite many municipalities promoting it and the European Union supporting it with its structural and cohesion funds, among others. These funds, however, are designed on an assumption that local authorities have community needs at heart when they issue calls for tender. This assumption proved to be an overestimation, of not wishful thinking.

EUROPE - From red deer traces and half wild horses, to ecoducts and tree plantations, till mountain ranges and free flowing rivers. They have something in common: these are the roads and routes that nature uses. 

South-East Asia’s informal workers are fighting to stop their livelihoods going up in flames with the expansion of waste-to-energy plants. 

LATINA - How, through debt, a network of intermediaries linking India to the Pontine countryside keeps thousands of Indian workers under blackmail, exploited in one of the largest fruit and vegetable districts in Europe.

It’s a global problem on the rise. Digital image-based sexual abuse – a catch-all phrase that includes what is often called “revenge porn,” but also deepfake pornography and “upskirting” – exploded across European countries during the pandemic, according to aid organisations.

Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba) is a shrimplike crustacean a few centimeters long, supporting the marine food chain around Antarctica. The Antarctic krill fishing industry has been growing in the last two decades, driven by the global growth of aquaculture. Krill is considered a valuable alternative to wild fish as a protein ingredient for fish feeds, especially for salmon, trout and shrimp.

HUELVA - Across the southern Iberian Peninsula, plastic greenhouses stretch to the horizon where rain-fed olives, wheat and grapes were traditionally grown. Spain and Portugal are Europe’s main producers of water-intensive berries. But the region is also one of the continent’s driest areas, where droughts are becoming more frequent. Reports have warned Europe’s fruit garden is in danger of becoming a desert before the end of the century.

KAYAR - Over half a million tonnes of fish are turned into fishmeal and fish oil to feed animals in industrial aquaculture systems and on intensive farms and demand is

IXQUISIS - In Latin America, defending natural resources such as water is a deadly pursuit. According to the latest Global Witness report, 1.773 environmentalists were murdered in the last 10 years. Sebastián Alonzo, a 68 years old subsistence farmer from the Ixquisis micro-region in Guatemala, was murdered while demonstrating against the hydroelectric company that would divert the river and affect the crops which his family and community depended upon.

GDANSK - The Vistula Spit Canal has been a decades-long political prizeproject for the Polish government. The construction has drawn controversy as it cuts straight through a Natura 2000 conservation area. Russian state-sponsored media and the Kremlin, have flasely claims it will devastate the Baltic sea, the lagoon, and local wildlife, but have not provided any independent scientific evidence to back their claims.

ZUGDIDI - As a result of the ongoing conflict in 1992-93, Zugdidi hosted the largest number of IDPs, the material prepared within the framework of the project is based on the personal memories of some of them.  

LELESTI - For years they inhaled it. Former workers of the asbestos-cement factories in Romania worked without any protection against the toxic dust. Except a milk ratio. It was supposed to protect against cancer and toxicity, or so they believed during communism. Long privatized and shut down, the factories still have their marks on people’s lungs. The diseases appear decades after the exposure.

ABUJA- This story demonstrates that although it is illegal to import used clothes into Nigeria, UK exporters continue to contravene the law by doing the contrary which is now polluting the country's ecology. It demonstrates how UK exporters provided Nigerian vendors with low-quality, deteriorating clothing, forcing them to burn unsold items in public.

EUROPE - Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine has upended decades of energy policy and a long-term dependence on Russian gas. Across Europe, governments are scrambling to find alternate energy supplies for the coming winter. 

PANGUINTZA - In Ecuador, cocoa farmers with UN financing and the support of a Dutch Foundation implemented blockchain technology to undermine the market power of big food companies and create more transparency in international supply chains. It’s a desperate intent to fight back illegal gold mining in the Amazon and generate more income for peasants.

BWINDI - The Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park in Uganda has been chosen by the US National Health Institute (NHI) as a ‘hotspot’ for a potential new outbreak of a zoonotic disease like Monkeypox, Covid or Ebola.

SKOPJE - Sunny North Macedonia falls short of solar thermal expectations. Using solar thermal technology to convert sunlight into heat should be a no-brainer in North Macedonia. After all, it’s one of the world’s sunniest countries. But meager subsidies and insufficient regulation have stymied projects, despite the economic benefits that experts concur are there for the impoverished country.

WORLD - Everyday, 30 species of insects disappear from the face of the planet. A quarter of European invertebrates are now on the verge of extinction and, in some areas, the reduction in insect biomass reached 75 per cent in just 27 years.

LVIV - The Ukrainian LGBTQI + community has been trying to organize parades since 2012 - then the organizers of the event canceled them because they were afraid for their safety. Today they are fighting not only for their rights but also at the frontline.

DAKAR - Kris Berwouts went to Senegal with the question: 'What are Senegal's strengths and vulnerabilities when it comes to the risk of jihadism spilling over from the Sahel? This received a boost in 2012 in Mali and has since rapidly spread to Burkina Faso and Niger.

ALENTEJO - It hasn't been this dry in Portugal for a thousand years. But in the Alentejo, there have long been debates about the right way to farm in times of drought and record temperatures. This is mainly due to a dam that is supposed to provide sufficient water.

VODNANY - In Babiš's poultry factories, there was an organized violation of the labor code, while the management of the poultry factories could not help but know that they were cooperating with the underworld in the exploitation of Vietnamese workers.

The price of energy from woody biomass.

LJUBLJANA - What is the cost of security companies, such as G4S? One way of calculating the harm is counting the dead and the injured. 

ZEELAND - To whom does the Dutch province of Zeeland belong? Partly to Belgians, who own up to a fifth of the agricultural land in the southernmost part of the province. The Dutch research collective Spit and the Belgian platform Apache went in search of the large landowners and answered the question: why are they active there?

Aragón (Spain), Herefordshire (United Kingdom) and Lower Saxony (Germany) have become areas with a very high density of intensive farms. An international investigation reveals the dynamics behind the expansion and the pollution of rivers, aquifers and even tap water that it brought along. 

BELFAST - As part of a cross-border project to investigate the poultry industry on the island of Ireland, the investigative team from The Detail, Noteworthy and The Guardian took a deep dive into cross-border litter trade and the environmental impacts from the industry as it expands in line with State policy.

PUNJAB - For years, the focus has been on men from Punjab who get trafficked to Europe, which is also colloquially known as Kabootar Baazi. This investigation by Journalismfund.eu's grantees reveal how Punjabi women are increasingly being trafficked by travel agents from India, but due to the social stigma, the state doesn’t have enough information about this growing menace.

BRUSSELS-AMSTERDAM - The Jehovah's Witnesses are a large global church community that most people know from their door-to-door visits, and in recent years in the spotlight because of allegations of child abuse and the exclusion of former members.

KABUL - This investigation sheds a light on the scale of abuse Afghan women are subjected to when trying to reach Europe. Women with no documents and no money are exposed to trafficking by unscrupulous smugglers who take advantage of the situation.

ODEMIRA - Changing migration patterns mean that more Nepalis are now travelling to western Europe via dangerous, illegal routes in the hopes of obtaining residence in a European country like Portugal. 

SARDINIA - EVIA - The Mediterranean basin is a hotspot of the climate crisis, with average temperatures rising above global trends. Heat waves, droughts and a combination of anthropogenic factors are provoking new generations of wildfires that are devastating for ecosystems and for human societies.

Nuclear waste in Croatia and Italy - this is the story of public interest and irresponsible politics.

BEIRUT - In the last decade, Denmark has promoted itself as a green frontrunner. But the investigation shows how Denmark is not only exporting windmills and green know-how, it has also supported and built polluting power plants outside its own borders. 

Air pollution is one of the most important environmental risks affecting health. According to WHO, it causes up to 7 million premature deaths worldwide per year and around 379.000 in the EU and the United-Kingdom. One might think that we all breathe the same air and all face those risks, but we don't.

Women are losing rights everywhere in South-East Europe, first of all the right of abortion, but a new feminist movement is rising. 

LUSAKA - Zambia is blessed with abundant natural resources, coupled with its strategic geographical location as a land locked nation in the southern part of Africa. From the inception, Zambia has largely depended on copper and other minerals. Copper production has contributed highly to Zambia's economic growth, though not up to the expectation of many citizens.

LOME - Investigative journalists Andrew Weir and Nicolas Vescovacci reveal the networks of influence and finance that built up the logistics empire of Vincent Bolloré and made him the target of official investigations into alleged corruption in Africa. 

NAYPYIDAW - This is a story that describes the downfall of the financial sector of Myanmar after the military coup in February 2021. Due to a history of nationalisations and demonetisations, people and businesses lost trust in the banks immediately after the coup. That resulted in a bankrun. 

VARNA - Improper management of a wastewater treatment pipe in the Varna lake has led to repeated toxic leaks since 2019. 

# Financial support
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# Projects supported
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Grants 

Investigation Grants for Environmental Journalism

This grant programme supports cross-border teams of professional journalists and/or news outlets to conduct investigations into environmental affairs related to continental Europe.

The next application deadline is Thursday 12 January 2023 at 12 pm CET.

European Local Cross-border Journalism Grants

This grant programme supports local cross-border investigative teams of professional journalists and/or news outlets to bring the locals to the European level as well as to local citizens all over Europe.

The next application deadline is Thursday, 12 January 2023, 12pm CEST

European Cross-border Grants

With the awarded European Cross-Border Grant programme, Journalismfund.eu supports (since 2009) professional journalists who have good ideas for cross-border investigations and for research on (continental) European topics.

The next application deadline is Thursday 19 January 2023 at 12 pm CEST.

News

Scholarships for grantees

https://www.journalismfund.eu/sites/default/files/styles/news/public/2022-06/JF_FB_Scholarship_300622_v2.jpg?h=685a80d0&itok=vhohQhk8To enable investigative journalists to share their experience and knowledge with colleagues at conferences, trainings, webinars and other available journalistic events, Journalismfund.eu provides scholarships for its grantees.

Webinar Safety and Security: How to Overcome the Risks When Investigating Human Trafficking

Modern Slavery Unveiled In-person training in Manila

2022-11-28

MANILA - Journalismfund.eu’s in-person Modern Slavery Unveiled training took place in Manila from the 21 to 25 November, 2022. Journalism for Nation Building Foundation (JNBF) and Rappler were the local organisers of the 5-day training for Southeast Asian journalists and civil society organisations on modern slavery reportage.

Cross-border investigations in Europe : how to secure information sharing and communications

2022-11-25

BRUSSELS - Journalismfund.eu hosted a panel at the 1st edition of the European Journalism Symposium in Brussels on 24 November 2022.

Modern Slavery Unveiled: In-situ Training in Manila

2022-09-13

MANILA - Journalismfund.eu joins forces with Journalism for Nation Building Foundation (JNBF) and Rappler to invite Southeast Asian journalists and civil society organisations to a 5-day training programme on modern slavery reportage.

Agenda

7Dec
Workshop

In the fight against disinformation, journalists debunk myths and expose conspiracy theories that threaten to poison the public discourse. 

Online
8Dec
Event

Wie das funktioniert und wofür es Gelder und weitere Unterstützung gibt, erklärt Ronald Tipan vom Journalismfund.eu.

08. Dezember 2022: Local Cross-border Journalism
Donnerstag 08.12.2022, 11-12:00 Uhr (in englischer Sprache)

Online