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IGS Signs Kyoto 2020 Landslide Protocol

The IGS showed its support for reducing the global risk of landslides by signing the Kyoto Landslide Commitment 2020 (KLC2020).

IGS Vice President Dr Nathalie Touze signed up on behalf of the society at a ceremony on September 18, 2019, at UNESCO headquarters in Paris, France.

KLC2020 outlines 10 priority actions to address issues including research, funding and investment to mitigate the significant environmental, socio-economic and human costs of landslides.

These actions include promoting the development of early warning technology, greater education for more effective local government policies and strategies, and encouraging geotechnical studies of catastrophic megaslides for better prediction and prevention.

The signing formed part of the International Consortium on Landslides/International Programme on Landslides conference held on September 16-19. Other signatories included UNESCO, the Global Risk Forum, the World Federation of Engineering Organizations, and the International Union of Geological Sciences.

KLC2020 aims to provide key actors and stakeholders concerned with landslide risk with tools, information, platforms, technical expertise and incentives to promote landslide risk reduction on a global scale.

It supports the implementation, follow-up and review of the Sendai Framework, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the New Urban Agenda and the Paris Climate Agreement as it addresses the adverse effects of climate change. 

Dr Touze said IGS involvement in supporting KLC2020 was a natural fit.

“The core purpose of the IGS is to provide an understanding and promote the appropriate use of geosynthetic technology throughout the world. Contributing to an improvement in sharing and know-how is thus meaningful for the IGS,” she said.

Dr Touze continued: “Prevention and mitigation of natural disasters is a key aim of the IGS.

“Landslides may be controlled somewhat by improving drainage conditions, growing more vegetation on slopes, providing proper retaining structures, and using some recently developed ground-improvement techniques such as soil reinforcement. If water flow cannot be modified, structures and the ground have to be strengthened so they can withstand unfavourable water action.

“Geosynthetics have proven to be a cost-effective alternative to other foundation-stabilization methods such as dewatering, excavation and replacement with select granular materials, or the use of thicker stabilization aggregate layers or chemical stabilization.

“Basically, geosynthetic layers can serve as reinforcing materials or can accelerate the process of consolidation of soft subgrade. Reinforcement also reduces the consumption of fill material because it minimizes or avoids local failure mechanisms caused by construction equipment during transport, spreading and compaction of the fill material.”

Dr Touze also had the opportunity to share information about the IGS and its work, including its reinforcement and stabilization technical committees, and the society’s efforts to build understanding about how geosynthetics can help confront many global challenges.

She added: “With climate change and global warming intensifying the frequency and magnitude of landslide threats, it’s never been more important to share knowledge and strategies to tackle this global problem. The IGS is proud to be part of a multi-agency commitment with KLC2020.”