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.