The recent earthquake in Nepal is a sad reminder of how important it is to reduce the risk of landslides. The earthquake triggered a “cascading disaster” of negative consequences of which landslides and avalanches were two.
Cumulatively, the tragedy has severely damaged the country’s sustainable development including the preservation of a significant part of its cultural heritage.
The experience in Nepal provides a graphic illustration of why the work of the International Consortium of Landslides continues to be of great importance.
A month or so before the disaster, at the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction, in Sendai, the Consortium’s leadership was again in evidence.
International Consortium of Landslides (ICL) brought together 16 intergovernmental, international, and national organizations in a voluntary commitment to reduce the risk of disaster through an increased understanding of landslides.
The global research platform is one of several important outcomes from the World Conference, in Japan. Such a proactive approach is a hallmark of the ICL’s 13-year existence.
The initiative—called the “ISDR-ICL Sendai Partnerships 2015–2025 for Global Promotion of Understanding and Reducing Landslide Disaster Risk”—represents a broad and experienced collaboration that draws significantly on scientific and academic institutions, the private sector, and NGOs.
This partnership, I am sure, will make a powerful contribution to the outcome of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015–2030: the substantial reduction of disaster risk and losses in lives, livelihoods and health, and in the economic, physical, social, cultural, and environmental assets of persons, businesses, communities, and countries.
As always, Editor-in-Chief Prof. Kyoji Sassa and his team present an excellent volume on an important—yet often neglected—subject. This edition of Landslides outlines the history and rationale of the “Sendai Partnerships”. It explores the initiative’s key elements of tangible cooperation that, if followed, will significantly reduce the risk associated with landslides around the world.
Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction
United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR)