Third World Landslide Forum (WLF 3)1

2-6 June 2014, Beijing, China
Organised by: The International Consortium on Landslides (ICL) and the China Geological Survey with the sponsorship of the Global Promotion Committee of the International Programme on Landslides (IPL) and the Ministry of Land and Resources of the People’s Republic of China, and with support from other organizations.

Reporting Author: SASSA, Kyojia

a Executive Director, International Consortium on Landslides, sassa@iclhq.org, kyoji.sassa@gmail.com

Abstract Landslides, occurring on land and at sea, pose considerable risks to humankind, disrupting societal functions and derailing economic gains. They threaten people’s lives and livelihoods by destroying buildings, transportation and other networks as well as cultural and natural heritage, affecting communities and their economy. It is often the poorest people who are most seriously affected by these dramatic events. The International Consortium on Landsides (ICL) was established on 21 January 2002 in Kyoto with participation from UNESCO, WMO, UNISDR, and the Government of Japan. The International Programme on Landslides (IPL) was initially founded in November 2002 at UNESCO. Through its ‘2006 Tokyo Action Plan’ focusing on “Strengthening Research and Learning on Landslides and Related Earth System Disasters for Global Risk Preparedness” the IPL contributes within the ‘International Strategy for Disaster Reduction’ (ISDR) to the UN-wide agreed “Hyogo Declaration” and “Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) 2005-2015: Building the Resilience of Nations and Communities to Disasters”. ICL organized the First World Landslide Forum in November 2008 at the United Nations University, Tokyo, Japan, and the Second World Landslide Forum in Rome, at FAO Headquarters, in October 2011. An ICL Strategic Plan 2012-2021 was elaborated in 2012.

The World Landslide Forum 3 (WLF3) aimed to provide an information and academic exchange platform for landslides researchers and practitioners. It created an opportunity to promote worldwide cooperation and to share new theories, technologies and methods in the fields of landslide survey/investigation, monitoring, early warning, prevention and emergency management. The purpose of the Forum was to present the achievements in landslide risk reduction in promoting the sustainable development of society.

Keywords consortium, landslides, disasters, risk, strategy

1  Introduction & Context

Table 1: Results obtained by the conference
ItemDescription
Major AchievementsConsideration of the status in which scientific knowledge and technical know-how can, on a global scale, be further applied to policy-making and practice for landslide disaster risk reduction and resilience building;

Assessment of the activities developed and implemented in pursuance of the 2006 Tokyo Action Plan and the 2008 Tokyo Declaration; Commitment to pursue the further implementation the 2006 Tokyo Action Plan and the 2008 Tokyo Declaration in line with the 2012 ICL Strategic Plan 2012-2021;

Agreement on an initiative to further strengthen international networking and partnerships in science and technology on landslides toward a safer geo-environment in support of the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR).

Endorsement of the plans to organize an ICL-IPL Conference as part of the Third World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (3rd WCDRR) to take place in Sendai, Japan, March 2015 and to establish the ICL-IPL Sendai Partnerships, to help achieve the ISDR goals and the post-2015 Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.

Adoption of the 2014 Beijing Declaration “Landslide Risk Mitigation :Toward a Safer Geo-environment”

Lessons learnedThe participants in WLF3 acknowledge the fact that global climate change is expected to increasingly affect the frequency and extent of heavy rainfall at local and regional level. Combined effects of natural phenomena and human adverse activities, associated with a rise in the vulnerability of the human and physical environment, are increasing landslide risk in the world. Understanding landslides, their associated risks and the vulnerability of societies, requires an integrated and multi-disciplinary approach including contributions from natural, social and engineering sciences and local knowledge.
Steps for the futureThe participants endorsed the plans to organize an ICL-IPL Conference as part of the Third World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (3rd WCDRR) to take place in Sendai, Japan, March 2015. They urged the ICL-IPL Sendai Conference to define and adopt concrete actions which will be carried out by international networks and partnerships, of public and private institutions, in science and technology, the ICL-IPL Sendai Partnerships, to help achieve the ISDR goals.

The participants invited related governmental, non-governmental and international programmes, and initiatives from natural, engineering, human, social and economical sciences, public and private, to promote science and technology and their applications for landslide risk mitigation by joining the ICL-IPL Sendai Partnerships aimed at enhancing capacities, in particular in the developing world, to reduce risk and vulnerabilities and build resilience related with landslides, also through formal and informal education, and contribute to a safer geo-environment in support of the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction goals and the post-2015 Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.

Landslides, occurring on land and at sea, pose considerable risks to humankind, disrupting societal functions and derailing economic gains. They threaten people’s lives and livelihoods by destroying buildings, transportation and other networks as well as cultural and natural heritage, affecting communities and their economy. It is often the poorest people who are most seriously affected by these dramatic events. The International Consortium on Landsides (ICL) was established on 21 January 2002 in Kyoto with participation from UNESCO, WMO, UNISDR, and the Government of Japan. The International Programme on Landslides (IPL) was initially founded in November 2002 at UNESCO. Through its ‘2006 Tokyo Action Plan’ focusing on “Strengthening Research and Learning on Landslides and Related Earth System Disasters for Global Risk Preparedness” the IPL contributes within the ‘International Strategy for Disaster Reduction’ (ISDR) to the UN-wide agreed “Hyogo Declaration” and “Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) 2005-2015: Building the Resilience of Nations and Communities to Disasters”. ICL organized the First World Landslide Forum in November 2008 at the United Nations University, Tokyo, Japan, and the Second World Landslide Forum in Rome, at FAO Headquarters, in October 2011. An ICL Strategic Plan 2012-2021 was elaborated in 2012.

The World Landslide Forum 3 (WLF3) aimed to provide an information and academic exchange platform for landslides researchers and practitioners. It created an opportunity to promote worldwide cooperation and to share new theories, technologies and methods in the fields of landslide survey/investigation, monitoring, early warning, prevention and emergency management. The purpose of the Forum was to present the achievements in landslide risk reduction in promoting the sustainable development of society.

2  Conference Aims & Objectives

2.1  Profile of participants

531 participants came from 211 national and international technical and scientific organizations*, representing 40 countries, and 5 organizations of the United Nations system. They included scientists, engineers, disaster managers, researchers, practitioners, policy-makers, public officials, international civil servants, media and students.

2.2  Major aims and objectives

The World Landslide Forum 3 (WLF3) aimed to provide an information and academic exchange platform for landslides researchers and practitioners. It created an opportunity to promote worldwide cooperation and to share new theories, technologies and methods in the fields of landslide survey/investigation, monitoring, early warning, prevention and emergency management. The purpose of the Forum was to present the achievements in landslide risk reduction in promoting the sustainable development of society.

3  Outcomes & Contribution towards the Post 2015 Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction

  • Global cooperation in landslide-risk reduction research and learning, as promoted by ICL and WLFs, is carried out encompassing related disasters affecting the earth-system, such as heavy rainfall, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, and disasters of anthropogenic origin.
  • The ICL and the World Landslide Fora serve as thematic platforms on landslides under the HFA. They reported to the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction on a biennial basis. Based on HFA priority areas, the IPL is a framework of global cooperation within ICL and seven global stakeholders in the field of landslide disaster risk reduction. It is currently managed by the IPL Global Promotion Committee (IPL-GPC) consisting of members of ICL as well as UNESCO, WMO, FAO, UNISDR, UNU, ICSU, WFEO and IUGS.
  • The ICL and the World Landslide Fora address the HFA priority areas. They promote strategies placing landslide risk reduction as a national and local priority and encourage relevant institution-building. IPL projects assess and monitor landslide risks and promote early warning. ICl and IPL promote research, knowledge, know-how and education for landslide risk assessent and mitigation. Preparedness for landslide disaster risk is enhanced.
  • ICL aims to pursue the systematic translation of scientific and technological advances into concrete landslide disaster mitigation measures and into educational and informational disaster preparedness tools for the population. ICL was involved in numerous activities dealing with the improvement of relevant monitoring and early warning mechanisms.
  • ICL has established thematic and regional networks to promote thematic and regional activities.
  • IPL-GPC has established Landslide School Network to intensify the capacity development activities in many regions and countries. The aim of Landslide School Network is to create a worldwide network contributing to capacity development of young researchers, practitioners, citizens and students with respect to landslide disaster reduction. Plans are underway to organize an ICL-IPL Conference as part of the Third World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (3rd WCDRR) to take place in Sendai, Japan, March 2015 and to establish the ICL-IPL Sendai Partnerships, to help achieve the ISDR goals and the post-2015 Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.

Conference Documentation

Conference documentation can be found on http://www.wlf3.org

2014 Beijing Declaration “Landslide Risk Mitigation :Toward a Safer Geo-environment”

Citation

Sassa, Kyoji. (2014): Third World Landslide Forum (WLF 3). In: Planet@Risk, 2(5), Special Issue for the Post-2015 Framework for DRR: p. 324-326, Global Risk Forum GRF Davos, Davos.


1
This article is a summary of the above mentioned conference with a special focus on proposed elements for consideration in the Post-2015 Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.