Meet ICIB Fellowship Awardees

Shahzada Irfan Ahmed

Shahzada Irfan works with daily, The News, Lahore (www.thenews.com.pk) which is the most widely circulated English daily in Pakistan. He writes on myriad issues ranging from environment, ecotourism, water scarcity, atmospheric pollution and climate change to poverty, gender, equity, human rights and governance. Shahzada Irfan's association with The News spans over 14 years. Before this, he has worked with Daily Sun, Lahore and Daily Times- both national English dailies.

Shahzada has also worked as a stinger with Wall Street Journal and writes frequently for IPS feature service, scidev.net and The Third Pole. He was selected as the Daniel Pearl fellow in 2009 and was placed in the newsroom of Houston Chronicle in Houston, Texas, USA as part of the programme.

Shahzada Irfan works with daily, The News, Lahore (www.thenews.com.pk) which is the most widely circulated English daily in Pakistan. He writes on myriad issues ranging from environment, ecotourism, water scarcity, atmospheric pollution and climate change to poverty, gender, equity, human rights and governance. Shahzada Irfan's association with The News spans over 14 years. Before this, he has worked with Daily Sun, Lahore and Daily Times- both national English dailies.

Nivedita Khandekar

Nivedita Khandekar, an independent journalist based in Delhi, India. She writes on environmental, developmental and social issues with focus on water and Himalayas. She has been contributing to newspapers since 1993 and has earlier worked with Press Trust of India (PTI), India's premier news agency, and Hindustan Times, a prominent national daily.

As an independent journalist, her bylines can be found across London's Climate News Network, The Third Pole, India Climate Dialogue, Hindustan Times, DailyO.i, Scroll.in, The Statesman and Urban Update.

As part of the IWMI Fellowship, she is writing on the broad theme of Indus Water in Ladakh, the cold desert in Jammu And Kashmir State. It will include feature stories, opinion pieces and analysis about Leh town's water requirement, water in agriculture in Ladakh's Indus Basin and the need for increased monitoring.

Esmat Morady

Esmat Morady is working as a professional journalist in Afghanistan for the past five years. As the media industry is new and emerging in Afghanistan, the media has faced many challenges in the past and continue to face them today. He personally likes to cover social stories that leave an impact on the lives of common people in the country. He likes talking to his countrymen and being close to them to understand their point-of-view.

In view of the relevance of water issues in Afghanistan, Esmat is looking to publish stories which would analyze the management of this precious resource.

Jane Qiu

Jane is a globetrotting science writer in Beijing, regularly contributing to publications such as Nature, Science, Scientific American, and The Economist. A recipient of many prestigious fellowships and travel grants, she has covered wide-ranging geoscience and environmental topics from the Arctic, the Antarctic, and the peaks of the Himalayas.

Qiu is passionate about the Tibetan Plateau and surrounding mountain ranges - a vast area half the US landmass known as the Third Pole because it boasts the largest stock of ice on Earth outside polar regions and strives to highlight its increasing fragility and pressing environmental issues. Her stories about the region were recognized in 2016 by the AAAS Kavli Science Journalism Awards and the Asian Environmental Journalism Awards.

During the ICIB fellowship, Qiu will investigate the environmental crisis in Mount Kailash and Lake Manasarovar - a landscape in the upper Indus in Tibet sacred to Buddhism, Bön, Hinduism and Jainism and visited by over 100,000 pilgrims and tourists a year. She will also look into the impact of increasing incidents of snowstorms on herders in the region and what policies need to be in place to help them adapt to a changing climate.

Zofeen T. Ebrahim

Zofeen T. Ebrahim is an independent journalist and currently the Pakistan editor for The Third Pole (www.thethirdpole.net) promoting discussion about the Himalayan watershed and the rivers that originate there.

She has written extensively on climate change, water, energy and how these issues impact communities. She contributes regularly to national English dailies like The Dawn (she worked there from 1994-2001) and The News as well as international media including the Inter Press Service, The Guardian, The Reuters Foundation and The Third Pole. Her work has been commended nationally as well as internationally.

Her story is about how water shortage in Sindh at the tail end of the canal command area) or delay in water and irregular weather pattern (due to climate change) has meant a decline in the chilli crop, which has had a devastating effect on the livelihood of women. The sowing of chilli seed and harvesting (chilli-picking) is done by women alone.

Read her fellowship story: Pakistan's chilli production scorched by water shortages

Nidhi Jamwal

Nidhi Jamwal is an independent journalist based in Mumbai, India. She started her journalism career with the Down To Earth magazine where she worked for 12 years. For the last seven years, she is working as a freelancer and writes for various publications, such as Scroll.in, The Wire, Down To Earth, DNA, Mumbai Mirror, India Climate Dialogue, Village Square, etc. She just completed the DST-SDC Media Fellowship 2018 on climate change impacts and adaptation in the Indian Himalayan Region. Jamwal won first prize (internet category) in the 'All India Environmental Journalism Competition 2015', and won Jury Appreciation Certificate of the 'Laadli Media and Advertising Award for Gender Sensitivity 2014-15'.

As part of the ICIB Media Fellowship 2018, Jamwal will focus on the Jammu region in J&K state of India. Apart from reporting on drinking water and sanitation challenges, she will also study the changing pattern of winter precipitation and its impacts on agriculture in the rainfed areas. State-level tribal policy is another area of her reporting interest.

Read her fellowship story: Centre Approves Diversion of Chenab's Water to Jammu but Plan May Not Be Feasible

Jammu's Drought-Prone Region's Farmers Are Facing Changing Rainfall Pattern

Humayoon Babur

Humayoon Babur has more than ten years of experience working with a number of national and international media organisations in Afghanistan in both formal and freelance capacities. He holds an MA in Public Policy in International Development Cooperation from Yeungnam University from the Republic of Korea. He is fluent in Dari, Pashto English and Korean. He is interested in exploring issues related to climate change and water scarcity in the Kabul River Basin as part of the media fellowship.

Read his fellowship story: Afghanistan water crisis may worsen regional tensions

Groundwater contamination is pushing Kabul towards catastrophe

Masooma Sultani

Masooma Sultani is from Afghanistan. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Kabul University and is currently working with the Afghan Journalist Safety Committee as a Media Coordinator. In the past two years, she has also coordinated research with the Afghanistan Institute for Strategic Studies (AISS). Masooma has 4 years of experience working as a journalist in various capacities. She has also been involved in volunteer activities, where she created a team to tackle plastic pollution in Afghanistan, with their work being recognized by the President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.

Read his fellowship story: A River That Went from Riches to Rags: Kabul River

Athar Parvaiz

With a Masters' Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication, Athar Parvaiz is an award-winning environmental Journalist based in the Himalayan state of Jammu & Kashmir. His articles appear in a number of national and international news outlets like Thomson Reuters, Inter Press Service, Hindustan Times, Business Standard, The Thirdpole, scidev.net, Mongabay, India Climate Dialogue, Scroll.in, IndiaSpend, The Wire, The Quint, rediff.com and many Srinagar-based English newspapers. Over the past several years, Athar has extensively written on environment and climate change. He has covered the global climate change negotiations twice from Copenhagen and Paris and has participated in a number of international and national environmental conferences besides earning over a dozen fellowships mostly on environment and climate change. He tweets @AtharParvaiz and can be contacted on atharparvaiz.ami@gmail.com

Read his fellowship story: Why Invention Of Ice-Stupas Is Not Cutting Ice With Some-Farmers In Ladakh?

J&K's draft environment policy gets short shrift from authorities