25 February 2021
Landslides and sustainable development: managing the cost of landslides in less developed countries
Yesterday, I was honoured to be able to present on of the keynote lectures at the XIII International Symposium on Landslides. This event was meant to have been held last year in Colombia. Unfortunately, it had to be postponed for obvious reasons. The hope had been to hold it this week, again in Colombia, but once again this was stymied by the wretched virus. In consequence, the event has been held online this week.
I have to give my thanks to the organisers, The Colombian Geotechnical Society, who have done a fine job in arranging a good meeting. I have been able to attend all of the keynote sessions so far, and many of the other sessions. The range and quality of the work being undertaken across the world is impressive, especially by early career researchers. Our discipline is in good hands.
I was asked by the organisers to speak for about 45 minutes on the topic of Landslides and sustainable development: managing the cost of landslides in less developed countries. This is a vast topic, in many ways too large to cover in a short lecture, so I decided to focus on three key themes – hydroelectric dams, mineral extraction and rural roads. I tried to present the problem and to highlight some solutions.
I have uploaded the presentation onto slideshare. WordPress no longer seems to permit an embed, so you should be able to view them here:-
You should also be able to download the file from slideshare, and I have put them on my Google Drive.
One of the issues I have tried to highlight is the high landslide incidence associated with rural (mountain) roads. The slide below is my interpretation as to why so-called “dozer roads” cause such high levels of loss from landslides:
As noted above, I have tried to highlight principles for addressing these problems. The slide below illustrates some of my thoughts on how to manage rural roads properly:
I very much doubt that my presentation is in any way the final word on these important topics, but I really hope it is of some use. Please feel free to use it as you see fit, but I would be grateful if you would acknowledge me, and refer to the open access paper (download it for free):-
Petley, D.N. 2021. Landslides and sustainable development: managing the cost of landslides in less developed countries. Keynote paper published in the Proceedings of the SCG-XIII International Symposium on Landslides. Cartagena, Colombia. Download from: https://www.issmge.org/uploads/publications/105/106/ISL2020-172.pdf.