The UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction celebrates the International Day for Disaster Reduction every year on 13 October. Beginning this year, and for the next four years, it will dedicate its world campaign activities to different groups of people. This decision was taken during the Global Platform in Geneva, and is part of a broad communication strategy which aims to include more people in risk reduction initiatives.

In 2011 the “Step up for Disaster Risk Reduction” campaign focuses on children and youth; in 2012 the focus will be on women, in 2013 on older adults, and in 2014 on disabled persons.

The purpose of this approach is to increase community participation in reducing risk. By focusing on groups that are more vulnerable to risk, perceptions and thinking can be changed as well as expectations and behavior of the community at large and among specific groups of the population. The “Step Up” campaign aims to make communities and individuals take responsibility for risk reduction.

A description of the 2011 Step Up campaign activities around the world are available at the web site for the International Day for Disaster Reduction: