Map showing the Conference location, the Isle of Wight, south coast, UK
View from Gore Cliff west to Blackgang, Isle of Wight, UK

Introduction & Aims

The Isle of Wight Centre for the Coastal Environment, Isle of Wight Council, invites you to attend the International Conference on ‘Landslides and Climate Change – challenges and solutions' to be held in Ventnor on the south coast of the Isle of Wight, UK, on the 21-24 th May 2007.

This event follows two previous successful international geotechnical conferences:

•  In 2002 ‘ Instability - Planning and Management' Ventnor, Isle of Wight , UK .

•  In 1991 ‘Slope Stability Engineering - Developments and Applications', Shanklin, Isle of Wight , UK .

There has been a very positive response to Bulletin No.1, issued in March 2006, from potential delegates wishing to attend this four day Conference, including leading landslide experts worldwide. A comprehensive Conference Proceedings Volume is being prepared and will be published by the distinguished publishing firm of Balkema in May 2007; it is expected to become an innovative and important international reference volume. Thank you to all the authors who submitted excellent papers for inclusion in the Proceedings.

The European Commission supports the aims and objectives of the Conference, which include publication of the results of the multi-national EU LIFE Environment project ‘RESPONSE' (2003-2006) – a transferable regional-scale methodology for mapping the coastal evolution and risks arising from climate change.

The purpose of this Conference is to examine the evidence of historical and potential climate change causing an increase in natural hazards and risk both at the coast and inland, to exchange ideas, solutions and good practice for proactive planning, management and risk mitigation.

Climate change is not a new phenomenon; the World's climate has always been changing. The majority of scientific opinion now agrees that human influences on the global climate are detectable above and beyond natural changes and that these effects are accelerating. However, whether our changing climate is due to natural cycles or human-induced causes makes little difference to the impacts that it will have and the necessity to implement a planning response. Many communities are become increasing vulnerable to natural hazards as the impacts of climate change are felt.

The UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, United Nations stated, “Climate change is not a prognosis, it is a reality that is, and will increasingly bring, human suffering and economic hardship”. Recent extreme weather events have highlighted the vulnerability of our society to the potential impacts of climate change and the associated social and economic costs that we are facing now and in future years.

In view of the impacts of climate change there is a need to adopt a proactive approach to geohazard management, based on monitoring, quantitative assessment, prediction and planning. Advances in geohazard modelling and prediction provide an opportunity for vulnerable communities to prepare for the impacts of climate change, whilst the implementation of effective long-term planning solutions requires an integrated and multidisciplinary approach involving scientists and all stakeholders.

The International Conference on ‘Landslides and Climate Change' aims to provide a favourable environment for planners, engineers, developers, scientists and politicians concerned with natural hazards and coastal change to discuss and exchange research findings, ideas and good practice.

The Conference will address the following key questions:
•  What historical evidence exists that links climate change with changing hazards and risk?
•  How is climate change likely to increase hazard and risk at the coast and inland?
•  How can the link between climate change and geohazards be quantified?
•  How can technology be used to manage hazard and risk?
•  What is the role of the insurance industry in hazard and risk management?
•  What techniques have been used to protect against the impacts of climate change?
•  How can sustainable solutions be developed for the future given high levels of uncertainty?
•  What evidence is needed to convince decision-makers and inform planning policy?
•  How can we best present information for use by planners and the public?

Through the examination of these issues the conference will identify steps towards solutions to the climate change and geohazard challenges now and in the future.

Undercliff Drive A3055 road failure, Isle of Wight, UK
Gore Cliff rockfall and mudslide, Isle of Wight, UK
Blackgang landslide, Isle of Wight, UK
View from Gore Cliff west to Blackgang, Isle of Wight, UK
Undercliff Drive A3055 road failure, Isle of Wight, UK
Gore Cliff rockfall and mudslide, Isle of Wight, UK