October 11, 20121196Views

Thursday, October 11 – The Virgin Islands will join the rest of the world in observing International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction (IDDR) on Friday, October 12, under the theme Step Up for Disaster Risk Reduction.

IDDR is a day which encourages every citizen and government to take part in building more disaster resilient communities and nations.  It is a day to celebrate how people and communities are reducing their risk to disaster and raising awareness about the importance of Disaster Risk Reduction.  The Step Up initiative started in 2011 and each year has been focusing on difference group of partners.  This year we will recognise the contribution of Women and Girls the [in]Visible Force of resilience.

Women and girls are powerful agents of change. They have unique knowledge and skills – crucial when addressing or managing disaster risks. They participate in poverty reduction, climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction that will shape their future and those of their families and communities.

Local activities in support of IDDR Day will include the message from UN’s Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon which will be read by the Coordinator of the Office of Gender Affairs, Ms. Lorolie Connor.  This message will be aired on all local radio and television stations throughout the day. In addition, the DDM will present a special edition of its television programme Focus and a DDM radio segment, which will highlight presentations of featured women who have contributed in areas such as the environment, governance, science and research, climate change, health, urban planning, education and awareness, volunteering and economic planning. Posters of the featured women will also be on display at the Administration Building throughout the day and following week.

The posters will also be presented at the 7th Caribbean Conference on Comprehensive Disaster Management to be convened at the Hilton Rose Hall, Montego Bay, Jamaica from December 3 to 7, 2012. The Annual Caribbean Conference on Comprehensive Disaster Management is the region’s premier event on disaster risk management and is organised by the Coordinating Unit of the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), in collaboration with its partners.  The Conference is our region’s largest gathering of professionals in the fields of disaster management and professionals from sectoral and thematic fields who have specific responsibilities in this area.

IDDR started in 1989 with the approval by the United Nations General Assembly. The UN General Assembly sees the IDDR as a way to promote a global culture of disaster reduction, including disaster prevention, mitigation and preparedness. Originally celebrated on the second Wednesday of October, the UN General Assembly decided to designate October 13 as the date to celebrate the IDDR however, this year it will be observed on Friday, 12 October.

For more information on International Day for Disaster Reduction visit