SafeLand will develop and implement an integrated and comprehensive approach to help guide decision-making. The methodologies developed will be tested in selected hazard and risk "hotspots” in Europe, in turn improving knowledge, methodologies and integration strategies for the management of landslide risk.
The harmonised methodologies and technical developments, combined with the social, economic and environmental dimensions will play a significant role in the detection, prediction and forecasting of landslides and landslide risk posed to individuals, society and the environment.
SafeLand has the objectives to (1) provide policy-makers, public administrators, researchers, scientists, educators and other stakeholders with an improved harmonised framework and methodology for the assessment and quantification of landslide risk in Europe's regions; (2) evaluate the changes in risk pattern caused by climate change, human activity and policy changes; and (3) provide guidelines for choosing the most appropriate risk management strategies, including risk mitigation and prevention measures.
To be able to produce results at the European scale, SafeLand needs to link hazards and risks at the local scale, i.e. individual slopes and slides to the hazards and risks at the European scale. The smallest scale of interest in this proposal refers to the local slope scale (less than 3 km²) where most of research on the triggering factors will be done. The regional studies, including the "hotspots" evaluations, form the intermediary scale: from 10 to 200 km², depending of the site. The largest scale will be the "country" and Europe scales.
To develop the required methodologies, SafeLand will improve and adapt existing knowledge on landslide hazard and risk to link the slope-scale results to methodologies required for the assessment of landslide hazard and risk at regional and European scales. The present day knowledge on landslide hazard and risk is still under development. Even if basic mechanisms are well known, quantitative relationships between triggers and hazard are still not well enough established. For instance the relationship between slope stability and rainfall, not only in magnitude but also in frequency of different ground instabilities, is not well established. Climate change, through the modulation in amplitude, frequency as well as duration of precipitation events, will dramatically influence ground stability. Hence, SafeLand will dedicate resources and research on technical issues (models and monitoring tools), integrate climate change and human activity scenarios into quantitative risk assessment (QRA) and develop society-oriented risk management methodologies for landslide risk mitigation and prevention.
SafeLand stresses the necessity of integrating the technology and social aspects to ensure that the risk assessment and management strategies are realistic and representative of the forces at play in an actual situation. Global changes, due to both climate and human activity, will provide insight in future risk patterns. The landslide risk assessment and management strategies developed in the SafeLand project will be implemented to forecast future risk.
When the research is completed, SafeLand will provide Member States with the means to contribute to the Soil Framework Directive, using well understood and commonly adopted risk assessment and management terminology and methodology and harmonised approaches and tools, and will have insight in the potential effects of global change (climatic and anthropogenic) scenarios.