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ABU, UN and EBU launch new disaster doco awards

The United Nations and the world’s two biggest broadcasting unions are launching a new award for TV programs about people coping with disasters.

The inaugural Disaster Risk Reduction Film Awards will celebrate a ten-year alliance between the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) and members of the ABU and the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) to advance the spread of knowledge on dealing with disasters.

TV broadcasters are invited to submit documentaries produced between 2005 and 2015 capturing positive human stories of courage, strength and resilience, investigative stories on past disasters or disasters waiting to happen and innovative stories about risk reduction solutions.

The timeframe corresponds to the implementation of the Hyogo Framework for Action, a ten-year plan of action to make the planet more resilient to disasters. The plan will be revisited at the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Sendai, Japan, in March 2015.

Jury members from the ABU, EBU and UNISDR will select the best films in four categories: Best Disaster Risk Reduction Human Story; Best DRR Investigative Story; Best DRR Innovative Story and Best DRR Documentary.

Broadcasters have until 1 December 2014 to submit their entries and winners will be showcased at an Awards Gala Ceremony at the Sendai world conference. 

ABU Secretary-General Dr Javad Mottaghi says floods, tropical storms, earthquakes, tsunamis, landslides, droughts and other disasters are part of everyday life and are increasing faster and with greater ferocity in the Asia-Pacific where, on average, 40 per cent of the globe’s natural catastrophes happen.

“The media’s responsibility is not only to report accurately disasters when they occur but to play a pro-active role in preparing people for them and ultimately saving lives,” Dr Mottaghi says.

“The ABU is proud to partner with the UNISDR and the EBU to encourage its members to produce more documentaries on building resilient communities across the world and highlighting inspiring stories of people overcoming danger and suffering.” 

For more information about the competition, click here.