The symposium was organised by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management and the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna (BOKU).
After the opening speeches of Erich Schwärzler - state councillor of the Province of Vorarlberg, Maria Patek - head of the Austrian Service for Torrent and Avalanche Control and Christina Paulus - head of centre for Teaching and Learning of BOKU, the symposium started with two keynote presentations.
On the same day the project „ON_Stage“, that was carried out by students of BOKU, showing portraits of female experts in disaster risk reduction, was presented. These portraits, that were developed based on personal interviews, will be shown in the Frauenmuseum Hittisau (women´s museum in Hittisau) until 26 of March and from 26 April onwards at BOKU in Vienna. This is accompanied by a small exhibition on a student project of BOKU dealing with disaster risk reduction and landscape planning.
During the next days the participants of the symposium shaped the future network for professional women and discussed gender issues in disaster risk reduction. This also included a short excursion to a close municipality that has been heavily affected by landslides, enabling the participants to exchange experiences and get to know each other.
On 4 March the network women exchange for disaster risk reduction - we4DRR was officially launched in presence of the mayor of Hittisau. This network should enable professional and personal exchange of knowledge on an international level. The major topics will be gender issues in the context of disaster risk reduction and increasing the visibility of female experts in the field.