Media - Frequently Asked Questions
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Where can I learn about press accreditation for the UN Biodiversity Conference?
Please visit www.cbd.int/conferences/2018/information/media. Please note that the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) follows standards that closely follow United Nations criteria for media accreditation.
I have covered previous CBD meetings; do I have to apply again?
Yes. Press badges issued at previous CBD meetings do not remain valid. Members of the press must be accredited for each meeting. A new accreditation form and all supporting documentation are also required.
What is the deadline for accreditation?
There will be no onsite media registration and therefor all media must register well in advance of the meeting to avoid any unpleasant surprises and delays to accreditation due to incomplete documentation.
What must I do to become accredited at the meeting?
The information and procedures for accreditation are available on the website at www.cbd.int/participation/2018/media. The most salient points are reproduced here:
- Complete the accreditation form
- Attach a letter of assignment on official letterhead of a media organization. The letter must be signed by the Publisher/Assignment Editor, Editor-in-chief or Bureau Chief, specifying the name and functional title of the journalist. Unsigned letters or e-mails will not be accepted
- Submit a photocopy of a valid press card/work pass and a photocopy of passport or national ID card
- You may also be asked to submit additional materials, in line with the United Nations criteria
- Applications are considered on a case-by-case basis, so you will be advised if any additional materials are required
- You will be informed of your acceptance by email.
What do you mean by “additional materials”? What is required?
If you are asked to submit additional materials, the following may be requested:
Print media representatives may be required to submit two bylined articles within the past four months and a copy of the publication
- Radio and TV media representatives may be asked to submit two recordings of reports within the past four months
- Photographers are required to submit original tear sheets or photos with credits of the issuing organization
- Online media (including “bloggers”) must meet the following requirements:
- The web publication must belong to a registered media organization, and have a specific, verifiable non-web address and a telephone number. The online journal requesting accreditation for its correspondent must have a substantial amount of original news content or commentary or analysis on international issues
- If the website is new, the applicant seeking accreditation must provide the latest data on the site's visitors or other relevant material (press citations, etc.) about the outlet's audience. The applicant must have an established record of having written extensively on international or biodiversity issues and must present copies of three recently published articles with his/her byline
- Please note that online publications which are communications outreach or advocacy publications of non-governmental or non-profit organizations do not qualify for media accreditation
- Work samples must demonstrate active engagement in covering the activities of the United Nations, and specifically the biodiversity process. Samples must be unaltered clippings or media products of the bona fide organization with bylines of the individual requesting accreditation.
Do I need to send a photo?
Your photo will be taken at the registration station; it is not necessary to send a photo in advance.
To whom do I address the letter of assignment?
To the CBD Press Office, attention: Johan Hedlund.
What should the letter of assignment contain?
The letter of assignment must be on letterhead and be addressed to the CBD Press Office. It must be signed by an authorized official (e.g., the Publisher, Assignment Editor or Bureau Chief), of the media organization seeking accreditation. Unsigned letters or emails will not be accepted. Letters of assignment must specify the type of coverage, event or project assigned; the period of time for which accreditation is required; and the name and professional function(s) of the individual(s) to be assigned.
How can I send my materials to you?
All materials need to be sent via the online forms.
I don't have a press card. Will you still accredit me?
If you don’t have a press card, you may be asked to submit additional materials, in line with United Nations criteria. Please see section on additional materials, above.
I would like to register as a delegate or NGO and also have press accreditation. Is this possible?
No. Double accreditation is not allowed (e.g. as press and delegate, or as press and NGO). If you are already registered with a delegation or observer organization, you will have to choose. The Secretariat will not issue more than one badge to an individual.
I am a freelance journalist. Can I still get accreditation?
Freelance journalists are subject to the same requirements for accreditation and must complete the full process, as above. Freelance journalists, including photographers, must provide clear evidence they are on assignment from a specific news organization or publication. A valid assignment letter from that news organization, or publication, is required. Photographic agencies must provide clear evidence from a client news organization or publication. You must also submit the other required documents for accreditation.
I am a student. Can I get accreditation?
Media accreditation is for professional members of the press who represent bona fide media organizations. We cannot accord students the same accreditation as is granted to media professionals with an established track record of reporting.
What about press accreditation for blogs?
Accreditation of bloggers for CBD meetings will be done on a case-by-case basis. Some of the criteria currently applied to online media will be applied; in addition, additional criteria for accreditation of bloggers may be applied.
I am with an independent film company that is producing a documentary on climate change. Can I access the conference?
Per the criteria for United Nations accreditation of media, independent TV production companies are required to provide a letter from a broadcast organization which intends to air their work. You must also submit the other required documents for accreditation.
I am a press officer at an embassy. Do I need press accreditation to attend?
No. Your name should be included on the official delegation list and you will be registered as a member of the delegation. While this registration will not allow you to use the facilities reserved for the accredited press at the International Media Centre, you may leave materials for distribution to accredited press and you may be present at any press conferences that you organise. The communications and media team will be happy to assist.
I am a writer or press officer for a non-governmental or observer organization, should I seek press accreditation?
No. As with press officers for delegations, your name should be included on the official delegation list. This registration will not allow you to use the International Media Centre, but you may leave materials for distribution to accredited press. You will receive the full support of the media team.
What about press traveling with a head of state/government?
All journalists traveling with heads of state or government should be accredited with the CBD Secretariat.
What if I am an organization that wishes to hold a press conference?
Organizations who wish to hold a press conference may apply to the Secretariat for permission and suggested times to do so. There is no charge for use of the press conference facilities, but you will be responsible for providing your own interpretation services.
Can I do a blanket accreditation from my organization?
It is not possible to give blanket press accreditation to a media organization. Instead, accreditation is granted to individuals representing bona fide media organizations, who produce the required documentation for accreditation.
What happens if I have to replace someone already accredited from my organization?
We are aware that assignments can change at short notice. Please communicate changes in staff as soon as they are known. The applicant will have to complete the same process, but as long as they have the required, valid materials, there is usually little delay in processing.
How can I check the status of my accreditation?
For the status of your application and other questions about media accreditation, please contact the CBD Secretariat. If you have been accredited, you will have received an email for this. If you require additional documentation, you will be requested to provide this by email. If you have not received any information, then your application is being processed. Please wait at least five working days for applications to be considered.
Do you fund journalists’ participation?
Some participation of journalists from developing countries at our conferences has been made possible through support for media training workshops. This participation is by invitation only.
Do you make hotel reservations for press representatives?
No. Media representatives accredited to cover CBD meetings are responsible for their own travel and hotel bookings. The Secretariat is not in a position to make these arrangements.
Will you help me get a visa?
Once your accreditation is approved, you will receive a letter that can be used to apply for your visa. Beyond this, the CBD secretariat is not in a position to issue any other documentation for visa purposes. You may use the confirmation of your accreditation when making your application, as well as the letter of assignment from your media organization.
I've got my accreditation, what now?
Once you have received confirmation of your accreditation, you will be registered for the conference. You will receive an email with your confirmation. You will be asked to download and print a bar-code sheet which you will present at the registration counter. You may collect your badge on-site at the media registration counter at the conference venue.
Your photo will be taken at the registration station; you must present a valid photo ID (passport, driver's license, work ID, etc.) in order to collect your badge.
Can I pick up my badge in advance?
For security reasons, it is not possible to collect badges in advance.
What does the accreditation cover?
Media accreditation may only be used for coverage of the UN Biodiversity Conference and does not constitute an endorsement for any other purpose. Some meetings taking place prior to the opening of the meeting have limited access. For more details on these meetings, please contact the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity. For details on what access and services you enjoy as an accredited journalist, please refer to the sections below:
What should I do if my badge is lost or stolen?
If your media ground pass is lost or stolen, you MUST immediately report it to the media registration desk in the conference venue.
Where am I allowed to go?
You have access to any public areas and meetings in the conference venue. This includes:
- Open plenary and working group sessions in designated seats(except for restrictions to film and video crews);
- Public exhibitions.
You also have access to all press conferences/briefings of the CBD Secretariat and the Government of Egypt in Press Conference Room and press conferences of other delegations and organizations.
Where am I not permitted to go?
Closed areas and meetings are off limits to you. This includes:
- Regional coordination meetings
- Contact groups
- Bilateral meetings – unless you have specific permission to do so by both parties to the meetings
- Offices of the CBD Secretariat, COP Presidency – unless you have specific permission for conducting interviews.
How do I request interviews?
You may submit interview requests to the staff at the International Media Centre, who will transmit your request to the appropriate person. If your request is directed to the staff of the Secretariat of the CBD, you will receive a reply from the Media Coordinator. If your request is directed to a representative of the Government of Egypt, you will receive your reply from them. Please note that if your request is for an interview with a representative of another government or organization, you will receive a reply from them directly. While the International Media Centre staff will attempt to contact delegations with these interview requests, the granting of interviews is at the discretion of individuals and delegations. All requests should include:
Name of the journalist and agency making the request, and local contact information, including cell phone and email
- List of indicative questions
- Proposed time(s)
- Length of the interview.
I am a still photographer, where may I take pictures?
You are permitted to take pictures in the following:
Side events and rooms
- Open plenary and working group sessions, but only from the designated photographer’s platforms and areas.
- For the opening ceremonies and the high level segment, you will be permitted up to 15 minutes to capture images from the main floor of the Hall. After this time, you will be asked to move to the designated areas on the second floor. In the event that demand exceeds supply, a pool will be set up. Pool cards will be arranged and distributed on the morning of the openings at the International Media Centre.
- Public exhibitions and public spaces
- Press conferences.
I am a broadcaster, where may I obtain images?
You are permitted to film in the following:
The first fifteen minutes of the Opening ceremonies
- The opening and closing ceremonies of the High Level Segment
- Side event rooms
- Public exhibitions and public spaces
- Press conferences.
Outside of the opening and closing ceremonies, all images from the plenary and working groups must be obtained from the Host Broadcaster. Feeds will be made available for this purpose. You can arrange to obtain these at the International Broadcast Centre (IBC), located in the International Media Centre (IMC). Details are listed below.
Where are press conferences held?
Press conferences are held in the Press Conference Room
What languages will be spoken at the press conferences?
Press briefings by the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Government of Egypt will be in English or Arabic with simultaneous interpretation into English and Arabic. Press briefings and conferences by other governments and organizations will be in English unless otherwise announced.
How will I gain access to the Press Conference Room?
Ten minutes prior to any scheduled conference, journalists should gather at the Press Information Counter in the International Media Centre. From there, you will be escorted by IMC staff to the room. These same staff will provide you with any materials for the conference and will assist in distributing microphones during question periods.
What facilities are available to the accredited media?
The press conference room will include 2 microphones on stand at the back of the room, 3 power panels, 2 projector screens, 2 TV cameras, and 3 interpretation booths with 75 headsets. The International Media Centre (IMC) will offer work spaces for the media. There will be 24 wired and connected computers and 6 power sockets available. There will also be space for 50 additional work spaces for media.
Will I have to pass through screening?
All accredited press accessing the conference premises must pass through security screening, including those with equipment.
Where can I obtain information about the latest events and activities at the Conference?
The International Media Centre is the centre of activity and information for media at the conference. Lists of Press conferences of the day, events and activities are updated and made available daily. The programme of meetings, side-events and press conferences will also be posted on the Grand Reserva system, which displays information on CCTV screens around the conference site. Staff at the International Media Centre will also be glad to assist you with queries.
Can you send me a list of CBD accredited media persons?
Information on media accreditation for CBD meetings is for internal use only and confidential. The CBD Secretariat does not distribute media lists.
I would like to stay informed about CBD news and events. Can you add me to your mailing list?
If you wish to be added to the CBD’s media mailing list, send a message to email@example.com. Alternatively, when you begin the media accreditation process, you will have an opportunity to sign up for this service.
The CBD reserves the right to deny or withdraw accreditation for activities that violate the principles of the Charter or the codes of behaviour and/or ethics of journalism and/or the United Nations. At any time, the CBD Secretariat may revoke accreditation if it is put to improper use; if it has been used to abuse the privileges so extended; or if personal or public conduct is not consistent with the best interest of the Organization. The press badge must not be loaned to another person; UN Security will confiscate any pass in the possession of any individual to whom it was not issued.