FAO/RECOFTC Brief on Forests and Landslides in Asia Highlights Climate Impacts

FAO31 January 2012: The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) and the Center for People and Forests (RECOFTC) have released a brief that describes the role of forests and forestry in the prevention and rehabilitation of landslides in Asia, noting that landslides may increase over the coming decades, in part due to climate change.

The brief outlines the impacts of landslides on populations across Asia, noting that the poor are disproportionally affected. It underscores the role of forests in preventing landslides, and describes how in some areas of China and Mongolia, climate change is causing landslides due to rapidly thawing permafrost.

It outlines other climate change implications, such as increased rains and severe weather, which could lead to soil inundation and tree falls. The Brief also notes that climate change-induced drought will increase the chances of devastating wild fire and forest die-back, which by removing or damaging forest cover will induce root decay, resulting in loss of slope stability.

The brief outlines the process of rehabilitation of landslide affected areas, and opportunities to select socioeconomically beneficial tree species. It concludes by providing recommendations for maintenance of forest cover and forest health. [Publication: Forests and Landslides]