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DIRECTOR-GENERAL OF UNESCO

UNESCO and the International Consortium on Landslides sign cooperation agreement

On 22 August 2006, Ko´chiro Matsuura, Director-General of UNESCO signed with Professor Kyoji Sassa, President of the International Consortium on Landslides (ICL) a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on cooperation between UNESCO and ICL in Tokyo, Japan.

The MoU is a step towards the implementation of the 2006 Tokyo Action Plan on Landslide Disasters, which was adopted during the 2006 Tokyo Round Table Discussion on Landslides. The MoU will serve as a framework for cooperation between UNESCO and the ICL with a focus on areas to reduce landslide risk worldwide.

The signing of the MoU was followed by the launching ceremony of the Organizing Committee of the World Landslide Forum, which is scheduled to take place in November 2008. In his remarks the Director-General stressed the necessity to mobilize scientific knowledge and technological know-how to assess natural hazards and to strengthen disaster mitigation measures.

The ICL is an international non-governmental and non-profit scientific organization promoting landslide research and capacity building, and integrating landslide sciences and technology within the appropriate cultural and social contexts. It also coordinates international expertise in landslide risk assessment and mitigation studies and promotes a global, multidisciplinary programme on landslides. Created in 2002 with the support and encouragement of UNESCO, its membership includes national organizations as well as NGOs and United Nations entities. The secretariat of ICL is based in Kyoto University, Japan.

Landslides rank high among natural disasters, especially in developing countries, where pressure on land resources often leads to slope cultivation and agriculture which render them prone to landslide disasters. Recent trends, including increased rainfall intensity and frequency, have drastically amplified landslide-associated casualties.

  • Author(s):Office of the Spokesperson
  • Source:Flash info n░128-2006
  • 01-09-2006
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