The project kickoff meeting was held on 14-15 March 2017 at the Shangri-La Hotel, Kathmandu. The meeting brought over 20 project investigators and partners together for the first time to re-appraise the project objectives, exchange ideas on the use of existing research tools, discuss project coordination, and agree on short-term commitments. One main outcome of the meeting was to identify an immediate need for a common theoretical methodological framework across all four Work Packages. On 16 March, the first project stakeholder workshop followed, which was a great success. Twenty additional potential stakeholders attended, from NGOs (Mission East, Save The Children, Oxfam, Mercy Corps), Nepali government agencies (DHM, SoHAM, DWIDM, DSCWM) and international organisations (UNESCO).
The first field visit to the upper Karnali Basin, western Nepal, followed on 17-20 March 2017; a select project team participated. An important outcome of this trip was a refinement of our understanding of natural and social processes governing landslide occurrence. We were able to identify three potential localities: two landslides close to Dadeldhura, and another farther north towards Chainpur on which a large settlement had been constructed. The visit also strengthened coordination between the central team, local partners and collaborators (i.e. Tribhuvan University, SoHAM and DHM).
Potential study site: major landslide halfway between Dadeldhura and Chainpur, on which the village of Dharam perches. The toe of this landslide is undercut by river incision, while road construction, deforestation, and unfavourable local geological conditions, all contribute to the hazard.