A review of policies and institutions for landslide risk management in Nepal


  • Basant Raj Adhikari Centre for Disaster Studies, Institute of Engineering, Tribhuvan University, Pulchowk, Nepal
  • Suraj Gautam Institute of Himalayan Risk Reduction, Lalitpur, Nepal




Landslide, Disaster Risk Management, Standard Operating Procedure, Contingency Plans


Nepal has been experiencing different kinds of natural hazards in recent decades due to its unique topographic and climatic diversities. Earthquakes, landslides, floods, lightning, fire, cold and heat wave are major hazards. Among them, the landslide is one of the major natural hazards, and the occurrence of landslides is due to active tectonics and the Asian monsoon. The Spatio-temporal distribution of landslides in Nepal suggests that fatal landslides had an average of 113 death per year from 1971-2021. Moreover, Sindhupalchowk, Gorkha and Syangja had the highest number of fatal landslides. A proper landslide risk management policy should be implemented to reduce lives and properties. Landslide risk reduction is always challenging because it needs strong political determination, appropriate plans and policies, and good governance. This study reviewed the government's different plans, policies, acts and available literature to understand the status of landslide risk management in Nepal. Key informant interviews were conducted among stakeholders to understand how landslide risks are managed. The Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act (DRRM), 2017, has considered the evidence-based decision-making processes instrumental in the paradigm shift from response-centric to anticipative and prevention-based approaches. Similarly, the Local Government Operation Act, 2017 has authorised and mandated the local government to undertake various functions for Disaster Risk Reduction. It is found that most of the plans and policies have not addressed landslides as an independent entity. Most existing documents have included disaster risk reduction but failed to identify the key issues of landslide risk reduction in Nepal. Therefore, this paper reviewed the current plans and policies and suggested recommendations for landslide risk management in Nepal.

Author Biographies

Basant Raj Adhikari, Centre for Disaster Studies, Institute of Engineering, Tribhuvan University, Pulchowk, Nepal

Dr Basanta Raj Adhikari is a deputy director at the Centre for Disaster Studies, Institute of Engineering, Tribhuvan University, Nepal. His main research interests are in the tectonics of the Himalayas, climate change, hill-slope movement and human interaction, Himalayan sediment flux generation, landslide Early Warning systems, multi-hazard risk assessment, community-based disaster risk reduction and naturebased solutions. He has published over 50 scientific research papers and book chapters and received various recognitions for his work in earth science and disaster risk reduction. He has received various recognitions for his work in the field of earth science, i.e., “young affiliates” (The World Academy of Sciences) and “Sichuan 1000 talents”.

Suraj Gautam, Institute of Himalayan Risk Reduction, Lalitpur, Nepal

Mr Suraj Gautam is a geo-hazard researcher working in the Nepal Himalayas. He is a graduate of Masters in Disaster Risk Management with a background in Civil Engineering from the Institute of Engineering, Pulchowk Campus. Currently, he is working as an Executive Director at the Institute of Himalayan Risk Reduction. He is working extensively on the application of frontier technologies like UAVs and has been collaborating with multiple stakeholders for the science-based decision making in DRR/M. He has been leading a number of activities that include Hackathon, Exploration of Indigenous Knowledge and Technologies, highresolution aerial survey of an urban city, and so on. His key research interests lie in the area of Geo-Hazards, Urban DRR and Climate Change along with its modelling, mapping, and risk assessment. He is also enrolled in a Young Scientist Program of Integrated Research on Disaster Risk (IRDR). He was a fellow of Kathmandu Metropolitan City Mayor’s Research Fellowship 2020/21 Program.


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How to Cite

Adhikari, B. R., & Gautam, S. (2022). A review of policies and institutions for landslide risk management in Nepal. Nepal Public Policy Review, 2, 93–112. https://doi.org/10.3126/nppr.v2i1.48397



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