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

Conclusions & Recommendations
arising from the Conference

  1. Evidence in support of climate change is becoming increasingly undeniable. Collapse of the Greenland Ice Sheet could lead to more rapid sea level rise and climate change than current predictions assume;
  2. There is evidence to suggest that in many areas climate change will lead to increased landslide hazards, both first time failures and landslide reactivations. Of particular concern to landslide management are predicted changes in patterns of precipitation and the frequency of extreme weather events ;
  3. Climate change poses a significant challenge to the future management of marginally stable ancient landslides. In response to climate change there may be changes to the styles of movement in large landslide complexes compared with the recent past;
  4. Many landslides are intimately linked to climate, but respond differently depending on the age and type of landslide and the processes involved;
  5. The mechanisms, hazards and risk associated with landsliding can be very complex and can vary over short distances, building an understanding of slope evolution over time and with changing climate is a necessary step in understanding, and mitigating landslide hazard;
  6. There are very few well documented cases that demonstrate a link between historical changes in climate and sea level rise and increased occurrence of landsliding, ground movement or cliff recession;
  7. It is necessary to gather more monitoring data of all kinds in order to determine the real behaviour of landslide movements, in particular during pre-failure phases, which will help to prevent disaster through the identification of trends and development of appropriate early-warning systems. These systems need to be embedded in risk governance strategies;
  8. There is a need to better understand and to share experiences of the different types of monitoring equipment (e.g. reliability and maintenance costs);
  9. The responses of landslide systems to a changing climate will vary for different environments (e.g. coasts, mountains) and need to be analysed in their respective settings in much more detail;
  10. Climate change impacts at the coast such as rising sea levels and changes in wave climate and sediment budget are likely to result in more rapid erosion, coastal inundation and more frequent damaging storm events, more rapid erosion and toe unloading of coastal landslide complexes;
  11. Changes to groundwater regimes may have significant implications on future ground movements;
  12. There are no universally applicable methodologies for the assessment and prediction of landslide hazard and risk and further research and development is needed;
  13. In the medium term, it may be possible to carry out adaptive and sustainable management to protect coastal communities but this must involve closer collaboration between coastal engineers and planners and politicians;
  14. Sound planning policies and procedures must be in place to ensure effective risk management;
  15. Sustainable coastal risk management measures should involve understanding and working with natural processes wherever possible and promoting adaptation to coastal and climate change;
  16. The most effective risk management strategies are those that have been implemented with strong support from local politicians, stakeholders and the community;
  17. It is clear that it is the role of a wide range of agencies to implement the mechanisms for adaptation and mitigation. For a comprehensive assessment of climate change dependant slope instability it is essential to operate in a multidisciplinary field that involves scientists, engineers and risk managers;
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