UN/ISDR Says Landslide Impacts Can be Reduced

© UN/ISDR 12 August 2009: According to the UN International Strategy for Disaster Risk Reduction (UN/ISDR), the frequency of landslides is expected to increase as climate change exacerbates the intensity of rainfall, but their impact can be reduced.

UN/ISDR points to a number of examples, including in Hong Kong and Costa Rica, where sustainable preventive measures have demonstrably reduced landslide impact. According to Margareta Wahlström, Assistant Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction, “while landslides are hard to predict, people living in landslide-prone areas can be alerted in advance if there are monitoring and warning systems in place to measure rainfalls and soil conditions."

UN/ISDR indicates that such action is essential, given that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has predicted more intense rainfalls in the future, leading to increased instability of slopes and making more people vulnerable to landslides. [UN/ISDR press release]