As landslides continue to be a hazard that account for large numbers of human and animal casualties, property loss, and infrastructure damage, as well as impacts on the natural environment, it is incumbent on developed nations that resources be allocated to educate affected populations in less developed nations, and provide them with tools to effectively manage this hazard. Given that the engineering, planning and zoning, and mitigation techniques for landslide hazard reduction are more accessible to developed nations, it is crucial that such landslide hazard management tools be communicated to less developed nations in a language that is not overly technical, and provides information on basic scientific explanations on where, why and how landslides occur. The experiences of the United States, Canada, and many other nations demonstrate that, landslide science education, and techniques for reducing damaging landslide impacts may be presented in a manner that can be understood by the layperson. There are various methods through which this may be accomplished–community-level education, technology transfer, and active one-on-one outreach to national and local governments, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), who disseminate information throughout the general population. The population at large can also benefit from the dissemination of landslide information directly to individual community members. The United States Geological Survey and the Geological Survey of Canada have just published and will distribute a universal landslide handbook that can be easily made available to emergency managers, local governments, and individuals. The handbook, “The Landslide Handbook: A Guide to Understanding Landslides” is initially published as U.S. Geological Survey Circular 1325, in English, available in print, and accessible on the internet. It is liberally illustrated with schematics and photographs, and provides the means for a basic understanding of landslides, with clearly-presented examples and explanations. The handbook will first be translated into Chinese, Spanish, and French and as a “public domain” document, it may be used without copyright issues, and will be free of charge to users. Support for users will be provided by both United States and Canadian geological surveys and those desiring more information will be urged to contact landslide personnel at these two agencies, through several means—email, telephone, and (or) FAX.
Additional Publication Details
An illustrated landslide handbook for developing nations