Caribbean Disaster Mitigation Project
Implemented by the Organization of American States
Unit of Sustainable Development and Environment
for the USAID Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance and the Caribbean Regional Program


Landslide Hazard Mitigation and Loss-reduction
for the Kingston Jamaica Metropolitan Area

Workshop Notice and Invitation

Three-day Workshop, 26-28 January 1999
Unit for Disaster Studies, Department of Geography and Geology
University of the West Indies, Mona, Kingston, Jamaica

Surface processes including landslides and flooding scour hillsides in Jamaica and the wider Caribbean, and continue to cause an extensive damage to infrastructure, especially roads, and property. Recurrent rainstorms accelerate slope failures. GIS based landslide hazard mapping provides an opportunity to better describe, monitor, and predict the geologic and geomorphic conditions where landslides are likely to occur.

We have carried out regional landslide hazard mapping for the Kingston Metropolitan Area as a part of Kingston Multi-hazard Assessment Project sponsored by the Caribbean Disaster Mitigation Project (USAID / OAS). One of the primary aims of this project is to recognize and map the landslide hazard in KMA. Landslide hazard maps have been prepared at a scale of 1:50,000. These maps serve as a proactive response to the management of landslide problems in KMA and form a basis for landslide loss reduction strategies.

A 3-day workshop, 26-28 January 1999, has been arranged to communicate the results of our studies to the various interest groups. The purpose of this inter-active workshop is to demonstrate to all concerned the magnitude of landslides and related problems in the Kingston area, how they affect the society both directly and indirectly, the constraints on land use, the benefits of mitigation, and how to avoid/reduce present and future landslides.

As far as we are aware, a systematic approach to landslide loss-reduction is currently not available in many of the Caribbean islands. This is the first workshop of its kind in the region as it brings together diverse and potential users of landslide information and the discussions are likely to benefit all.

Although this workshop focuses on the landslide hazard in the Kingston Metropolitan Area, Jamaica, the results and experiences are applicable to the management of landslides in any tropical island state.

Participants will know how landslide hazard and risk may be appreciated at different levels including individual houses, inter-relationship of landslides with rainfall and earthquakes, history of landslides and how they influence urban settlements, field visit to recognize landslides and the hazards they create, how hazard maps were prepared, guidelines for using landslide hazard maps, techniques of loss reduction, land use planning in reducing losses, and answers to frequently asked questions about landslides. The faculty comprises experts in the field and includes geologists, engineers, disaster managers, environmental scientists, and planners.


Citizens, teachers, planners, developers, insurers, disaster managers, watershed engineers, the disciplines of forestry, agriculture and soils, civil engineers, managers of public utilities including electricity, water, communications, members of relief and rescue operation teams, journalists, social scientists, and earth scientists.

There is no registration fee for the workshop, however, participants must share the cost of course materials, field transport, and refreshments. This information shall be provided to all those who indicate their interest by 5th January 1999.

We can accommodate a maximum of 40 participants.

Overseas participants must arrange for their own financial support to cover the cost of participation including airfares, stay in Kingston for the duration of the workshop, and local expenses.

CDMP home page: Project Contacts Page Last Updated: 20 April 2001