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Forests and landslides

The role of trees and forests in the prevention of landslides and rehabilitation of landslides-affected areas in Asia. Second edition










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    Book (stand-alone)
    Forests and landslides
    The role of trees and forests in the prevention of landslides and rehabilitation of landslide-affected areas in Asia
    2011
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    Steep terrain, vulnerable soils, heavy rainfall and earthquake activity make large parts of Asia highly susceptible to landslides. The significance of landslides is set to increase in the coming years as a result of population growth, expansion of infrastructure, and increased forestry and agricultural activity in the region. In temperate and tropical Asia, projected climate change related impacts are likely to result in compound effects of landslide incidences. Landslides cause environmental da mage to forests and agricultural resources by removing topsoil, blocking rivers and increasing downstream sedimentation. Scientific studies confirm the crucial role of trees and forests in preventing landslides not only by reinforcing and drying soils, but also in directly obstructing smaller slides and rock falls. However, the role of trees and forests in the case of deep-seated landslides or in extreme events is unlikely to have any effect. Landslides are a growing hazard in Asia and it is imp ortant for policy-makers to understand when, where and how trees and forests are useful in reducing landslides, and what they can and cannot do, based on sound science. This publication describes, from a technical standpoint, the extent to which the preservation or planting of forests can reduce the incidence of landslides, and where forestation projects are valuable in land rehabilitation and stabilization after landslides occur. Key findings and recommendations for policy-makers are provided, as well as an extensive list of reference materials.
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    Project
    Landslide Prevention and Stabilization of Slopes in the Most Earthquake-Affected Districts of Nepal - TCP/NEP/3601 2020
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    On 25 April 2015, a devastating earthquake hit Nepal, withthe epicentre in Gorkha District. This was followed byhundreds of aftershocks of differing magnitude, includingthat of 12 May 2015, with its epicentre in Dolakha District,which shook the hills, triggering a number of landslidesand creating cracks that affected agricultural land andlivelihood infrastructures, in particular irrigation, watersupply schemes, roads, trails and buildings. This, in turn,affected the food security of the earthquake-affectedfamilies. The monsoon that followed the earthquakeexacerbated the problem of slope instability in theseshaken hills, further worsening the situation.The project worked towards the rehabilitation oflivelihood infrastructure in order to support thelivelihoods of earthquake-affected households. This wasthe most urgent need for the communities most seriouslyaffected by the earthquake.
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    Project
    Good practice examples for disaster risk reduction in Cuban Agriculture
    Final project report - Assistance to Improve Local Agricultural Emergency Preparedness
    2009
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    The vulnerability of the Caribbean region to hydro- meteorological hazards such as hurricanes, floods, drought, high magnitude rainfall and related hazards such landslides is underscored. The recurrent impacts of these events have wreaked havoc on environment, economy and society throughout the region. Although the contribution of agriculture to Caribbean regional Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has steadily declined over the last two decades, this sector has remained a major employer of labour and as such a main player in the livelihood profile of the region. The extreme vulnerability of the agricultural sector to a variety of hazards/disaster has been a perpetual focus of hazard/disaster management and interventions in the Caribbean. Over the past decade, the FAO has regular responded to the relief/rehabilitation/reconstruction needs of the sector in the aftermath of hurricane-related disasters. While such response and rehabilitation interventions are important, the extent of devastation caused to the agricultural sector by the 2004-2005 hurricane seasons stresses the need to move from a reactive to a proactive mode in order to facilitate more long term and sustainable benefits form interventions. It is in recognition of the immense negative impact of the 2004 hurricane season on the agricultural landscape of the Caribbean region and in response to the urgent call for assistant from regional policy makers, that the FAO funded the regional project Assistance to improve local agricultural emergency preparedness in Caribbean countries highly prone to hydro-meteorological hazards/disasters.

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