Landslide EVO brings together experts in environmental hazards, engineering social sciences resilience, citizen science, and computational modelling to improve disaster resilience in Western Nepal.

Wei_Landslide © Madhab Uprety | Practical Action Consulting Nepal

Mountains are hotspots for natural disasters, in particular those related to landslides. Across the developing world, mountains are also hotspots for poverty and underdevelopment. Scientific understanding of natural hazards in these areas is lagging behind because of the complexity of the physical environment and the difficulties it poses for data collection. There is an urgent need to improve our understanding of how natural disasters in mountain regions occur, how they can be mitigated, and how people at risk can be made more resilient.

LandslideEVO leverages recent technological and conceptual breakthroughs in environmental data collection, processing, and communication to leapfrog resilience building in data-scarce and under-developed mountain communities in South Asia. In particular, we are identifying three convergent evolutions that hold great promise. Landslide EVO employs a bottom-up participatory, or “citizen science,” approach to increase resilience to hydrologically-induced landslides and flood hazards in mountainous Western Nepal. LandslideEVO leverages advances in in-situ/remote monitoring, vulnerability assessment, and polycentric risk governance to co-generate locally actionable knowledge and tools for disaster risk reduction and resilience building. 

The focal area of the LandslideEVO project is the Karnali river basin in Western Nepal, a remote and understudied basin, that suffers from a complex interplay of natural hazards. These include hydrologically-induced landslides and cascading hazards, such as flooding. In recent years, these hazards have caused serious damage to local infrastructure (e.g., roads, irrigation canals, houses, and bridges) and affected citizens' livelihoods (e.g., 34,760 families affected by the August 2014 floods).

LandslideEVO has four working packages (WP):

  • WP1: Hydrometeorological characterization and prediction
  • WP2: Landslide and flood risk mapping and prediction
  • WP3: Knowledge co-generation & polycentric risk governance
  • WP4: Operational disaster risk reduction and resilience building

IIASA leads WP3 on knowledge co-generation and polycentric risk governance. 

LandslideEVO is a four-year project funded by the UK’s Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and Department for International Development (DFID) under the Science for Humanitarian Emergencies and Resilience (SHEAR) program (grant number NE/P000452/1). Led by the Imperial College London, the consortium is interdisciplinary and brings together experts in environmental hazards, engineering social sciences resilience, citizen science, and computational modeling.