Luna Media Press Release | 24 October 2006
COSMOS senior editor Sara Phillips has been awarded a 2006 Reuters-IUCN Media Award for Excellence in Environmental Reporting.
Reuters and the World Conservation Union (IUCN) selected Phillips from among other print entries from North America, Oceania and the Caribbean.
“I was thrilled and delighted,” said Phillips. “I didn’t really expect it would happen to me.”
Phillips attended the regional award ceremony on 14 November 2006 in Nairobi, Kenya, which was co-hosted by Reuters and the IUCN. Award winners received a trophy for their excellence in environmental reporting.
The six regional winners, one of which was Phillips, vied for the global award, which comes with a cash prize of US$5,000. The regional winners represent Asia, English-speaking Africa and the Middle East, Europe, Francophone Africa, Latin America and North America, Oceania and the Caribbean.
In her award-winning cover story, “The Water Crisis” (COSMOS, June 2006), Phillips – then deputy editor of COSMOS - explored Australia’s looming problem of water shortage. With a growing population and a dry climate, Australia is working toward finding solutions, none of which are cheap or simple.
“It’s a story about a topic that I care about a lot,” said Phillips. “At current rates of population growth, we can’t sustain our current water use, so we have to look at alternatives.”
While there are a variety of alternatives, Phillips’ story focuses on the option of recycling water. This option would involve “taking sewage and treating it to a drinking water standard”, explained Phillips. “With the technology that’s been developed over the past 10 to 15 years [this] is highly feasible and in fact, creates water of a better quality than rain water.
“Awards like this are great for helping raise the profile of environmental issues globally. When I look at the other winners in the various global regions, I’m amazed that I’m amongst them.”
When asked what she would do if she won the global prize, Phillips said she’d put the award money towards an eco-friendly project. “I’m renovating my house at the moment to make it more sustainable. I’d like to buy a rainwater tank.”
In November 2006, Phillips was appointed editor of G Magazine, Australia's first green lifestyle title, also published by Luna Media, publishers of COSMOS. As senior editor at COSMOS, she will continue to contribute to the editorial excellence at the magazine.