Thematic Area

Landslide Hazard
& Risk Assessment


The Southeast Asian Nations are undergoing rapid transformational socio-economic changes with associated dynamic changes in the hazard, vulnerability and risk characteristics in these countries. Climate change is expected to exacerbate these risks acting as a threat multiplier. The ASEAN countries have put in place far-reaching disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation plans, laws, and regulations at the regional and national levels, and are progressing to localize them to sectoral and community level. One important element that countries needed to make significant progress is in integrating climate change projections into disaster risk assessments that can help understand and address the future systemic risks. 

Keeping this need in view, the project aims to assess the systemic risks of floods and landslides in a river basin context by integrating climate change projections into risk assessments. These integrated risk assessments provide an important tool for the administration to understand systemic risks and address the same through planning processes. The landslide risk assessments based on the future climate projections provided an important perspective view to the planners. Developing climate-proof risk assessments helped in understanding the systemic risks and build the capacity of institutions, policies and planning processes. The forward-looking risk assessments have empowered the decision-makers with the ability to manage rapidly changing risk profiles because of climate change uncertainties. The ability to understand uncertainties in assessing future systemic risks is a step forward in risk reduction planning and implementation.

The landslide hazard and risk assessment was done based on the concept introduced by the UNDRR (formerly known as UNISDR) as described in the Guideline of the ASEAN Project for Disaster Risk Reduction by Integrating Future Climate Scenarios into Landslide Risk Assessment, and was piloted in a Phoukhoun river basin located in Luang Prabang Province of Lao PDR and Taunggyi river basin located in Shan State of Myanmar. The landslide risk assessment conducted for two different scenarios of RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5 for three different projected year of 2030, 2050 and 2080.

The landslide risk assessment and mapping approaches employed by the project are as follows:

Climate change impact assessment and scenario development process for users to understand climate change science basics, recent advances and climate predictions for realistic scenario development.
Landslide susceptibility mapping and zonation for observed hydrological conditions, as well as river basin level climate scenarios.
Vulnerability and capacity assessment; element-at-risk identification and qualitative and quantitative indicators.
Risk assessment and mapping process through integration of climate assessment, susceptibility analysis and vulnerability assessment results.

The majority of the data used for this study is freely available from the public domain. A Quantum Geographic Information System/QGIS, an open source GIS software was used to process, analyze the data in the GIS environment and produce maps.

The landslide risk was classified into five different classes, namely, very high, high, moderate, low and very low. The risk assessment provides essential information and the outputs are useful for a better understanding of the potential impact caused by landslides, hence, better disaster risk reduction strategy can be developed and or enhanced, and prioritization of efforts for the reduction and mitigation of future landslide hazards.

Figure below illustrates the basic concept of landslide hazard & risk assessment employed in the study and potential application in disaster risk reduction and management.

Baseline Data

Spatial and non-spatial data
  • Administrative boundary
  • Infrastructure 
  • Land use/land cover
  • Socio-economic data
  • Demography 
  • Post-disaster events
  • Disaster events data
  • Landslide inventory, DEM (slope, aspect), rainfall data derived from future climate scenarios  etc.
Baseline information and hazard data

Inter-institutional and harmonized standard for data collection preparation simplify combined interpretation of the data in subsequent steps of hazard and risk assessment

Hazards Assessment

Which areas are at-threat

LS map – RCP 4.5 (2030)

LS map RCP 8.5 (2030)

LS map – RCP 4.5 (2050)

LS map RCP 8.5 (2050)

LS map – RCP 4.5 (2080)

LS map RCP 8.5 (2080)

Approach used:

Vulnerability & Capacity Assessment

  • Identification of condition determined by social, physical, economic and environment,  factors that increase the susceptibility of community, assets or system to the impact of hazards

  • Identification of the strengths and resources available to each individual, households and communities to cope, defend, prevent, prepare, reduce risk, or recover quickly from disaster


Element at-risk (exposure) included:

  • Household  (population)
  • Agriculture
  • Critical Infrastructure, such as road etc.

Risk Assessment

Landslide-hazard risk assessment

Who or what could be at risk(s)

  • Population, settlement & critical infrastructure
  • Economic potential

Generalized Risk

What is the level of risk for each household (and community/village) 

  • Population at Risk
  • Infrastructure at Risk
  • Other critical assets at Risk


Recommendation for landslide risk reduction and management strategies which is inline with the Government Development Planning, e.g.:

  • Setting up early warning system
  • Risk-sensitive land use planning
  • Establishment of DRM polices etc


ASEAN Project on Disaster Risk Reduction by Integrating Climate Change Projection into Flood and Landslide Risk Assessment (ASEAN DRR-CCA) is supported by the Government of Japan through the Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund (JAIF).

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