Sasakawa Award Recognises Excellence in Reducing Disaster Risk

Nominations for the 2013 UN Sasakawa Award for Disaster Risk Reduction are now open. This prestigious award recognises excellence in reducing disaster risk for a safer more sustainable world. The candidate with the most innovative project to reduce disaster risk under the theme “Acting As One” – whether at the national level or the local and community level – stands the chance of receiving US$50,000 in prize money.



The theme the theme “Acting As One” reflects one of the most important tenets of disaster risk reduction: that building the resilience of nations and communities is everybody’s business and needs everyone’s participation and investment to succeed – civil society, private individuals, professional networks and government at all levels.

“The main obstacle for disaster preparation is to recognize disasters are not events that just happen – they are things you have to plan for. So, the key issue is how to ensure that societies organize to mitigate the impact,” said Margareta Wahlstrom, the UN Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction and head of UNISDR. “Central government takes the lead, while also ensuring that local government and communities are fully involved. But one real lesson learned is that no one can do it on their own. You also need the private sector, you need the media to be wise about these things and ask the right questions. You need science and knowledge, you need people. So working in this direction is really an issue of having everyone sitting around the table, with representatives of all these parties.” 

disaster risk reducation


The UN Sasakawa Award for Disaster Risk Reduction is an initiative of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), made possible by an endowment from the Nippon Foundation of Japan. Previous African laureates include Ms. Esther Tadzong (in 2003) of the Global Centre for Compliance, Hazard and Disaster Management in Cameroon, for her efforts in raising awareness and promoting community involvement in preparing for imminent disasters.

The deadline for submissions is 28 February 2013. The winner will be announced on 22 May 2013 during the Fourth Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction – the foremost gathering of disaster risk reduction practitioners in Geneva, Switzerland. The awardee also receives a prize of US$50,000.

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