The winners were selected from the 420 nominations that were received from 24 countries across the Asia-Pacific region. The awards, which come with a cash prize, celebrate women's achievements in reducing disaster risk.
Mami Mizutori, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction and Head of the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, UNDRR, said: “The WIN DRR Leadership Awards is a way to recognise the significant contributions being made by women to reduce disaster risk. ”
“Dr Garaebiti’s work improving early warning systems across the Pacific means tsunami warnings are sent out faster, enabling those who may be in a tsunami’s path to get to higher ground,” Ms. Mizutori said.
Excellence award winner, Dr. Garaebiti, said “Involving women in disaster risk reduction in Vanuatu helps ensure that the needs of the most at-risk and marginalised people are considered in national, provincial and community disaster risk management planning, from prevention to the recovery.”
“When we look at the next generation of women leaders, Dr Homolata Borah is truly a Rising Star in disaster risk reduction,” said Ms. Mizutori. “By putting communities at the centre of her field research, she has engaged vulnerable communities in Majuli and helped identify practical solutions to the very specific problems of soil and river erosion that they face.”
Rising Star award winner Dr Homolata Borah said: “We need to go beyond the rhetoric of women’s empowerment to more fundamental changes in the way resources are managed equally by women and men.”
The WIN DRR Leadership Awards recognise women’s achievements in disaster risk reduction across the Asia-Pacific region. The awards are part of UNDRR’s flagship women’s leadership initiative, the Women’s International Network for Disaster Risk Reduction (WIN DRR), which is supported by Australian Aid.
The Award winners were announced during an event at the Asia-Pacific Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Brisbane, which celebrated women’s achievements in and contribution to reducing disaster risk across Asia and the Pacific.
The finalists for the Rising Star Award can be viewed here:
The finalists for the Excellence Award can be viewed here:
By Branwen Martha MILLAR