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“Japan-World Bank Program for Mainstreaming Disaster Risk Management in Developing Countries” Knowledge Program

Roads, Landslides and DRM

May 19, 2015

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Though landslides are a natural occurrence, they can be triggered by ill-conceived development and settlements in high-risk areas. In many developing countries, construction of roads in river basins and mountainous areas can cause landslides and lead to erosion and sedimentation.

Mountainous areas make up 70% of the land in Japan, making the country highly susceptible to sediment-related disasters caused by typhoons and torrential rain. Through centuries of experience managing these hazards, Japan has gained extensive expertise in this area and developed a series of technologies and practices, known as “sabo”. The term signifies an integrated approach to “erosion control works in upstream areas”.

The World Bank Disaster Risk Management Hub’s Roads, Landslides, and DRM engagement is building the knowledge base on landslides and practical intervention in developing countries by taking stock of the types of hazards faced and solutions applied in Japan, and matching these approaches - while understanding their constraints - to contexts in developing countries.

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