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IUFRO The Advocate for Forest Science.
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All over the world society faces different forms of erosion, among which water erosion and landslides are particularly significant and destructive. Especially torrential processes like overflows and flooding (debris-flows, debris-floods, intensive bedload transport), depth and lateral erosion and geomorphic processes on the hillslopes, like landslides, represent a serious hazard for settlements and infrastructure located in torrential valleys and on torrential fans. Devastating events are mostly triggered by local rainfall events of high intensity and short duration. Sediment production and transport represent a hazard for human settlements but in the same time are an important factor for bedload equilibrium in larger rivers (Hübl, 2011). The solution for all these problems is integrated forest and water management which begins in torrent catchments. Integrated torrent, erosion and landslide control is one of the basic conditions for sustained progress of society and the states respectively. The staff of unit 8.03.01 is aware of international ambitions to move away from "natural hazard defence" towards "risk management of natural perils", with a focus on managing the consequences of these hazards and risks.
The working scope of the Unit 8.03.01 is focused on:
Bedload transport control is successfully carried out by correctly positioned and designed consolidation and retention structures. These structures are generally integrated in a system and therefore their functions are interactively supplementing.
Only well maintained torrent control structures and systems can perform the required function. Damaged structures and structures that are not maintained regularly do not protect but offer a deceptive impression of security. In case of their destruction the consequences may be even worse then if there would be no protective structures at all. It is therefore essential that they are well and regularly maintained.
An important improvement in Europe in the field of the reduction of flood risks is European Directive 2007760/EC on the assessment and management of flood risks which, instead of the principle ensuring a certain degree of flood safety, introduces a principle of risk management.
Keywords: natural hazard assessment, torrent, erosion, landslide, integrated forest and water management, integrated torrent, erosion and landslide control, integrated risk management
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