The first organizing committee meeting of the Fifth World Landslide Forum (WLF5) was held at the Disaster Prevention Research Institute, Kyoto University, on 5–6 March 2017. The discussion result of WLF5 was published in Landslides Vol. 14 (3) in 2017 (Sassa 2017). The following key elements present the concept of planned WLF5.

  • Date: 2–6 November 2020, Venue: National Kyoto International Conference Center, Kyoto, Japan.

  • Subtitle: Implementing and Monitoring the ISDR-ICL Sendai Partnerships 2015–2025

  • Outcome: Review of the first 5 years of Sendai Landslide Partnerships and Plan of the next 5 years until 2025.

  • Potential outcome: Kyoto 2020 Commitment of the World Landslide Community (the name of Kyoto Commitment was changed in the later stage).

  • Publication: (1) Thematic issue “ISDR-ICL Sendai Partnerships 2015–2025” of Journal Landslides, (2) Full color books containing papers presenting progress in landslide science and technology of the world, (3) CD proceedings.

Although the plan of WLF5 was slightly modified from 2017 (Sassa 2017) to 2020 (Sassa 2020b) and the date of WLF5 was postponed for 1 year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, 6 volumes of full color books and the thematic issue “Sendai Landslide Partnerships 2015–2025” (the name was changed from ISDR-ICL Sendai Partnerships) will be published in October–November 2020, as originally planned.

Journal Landslides

Landslides: Journal of International Consortium on Landslides was created by the International Programme on Landslides C100 Landslides: Journal of the International Consortium on Landslides (2002–2010). The aim of this initial IPL Project C100 is to create “Landslide Science” integrating landslide studies in different disciplines. Technical terms related to landslides are different in each discipline. Scientific discipline cannot stand without any good-standing international journal. Information of landslides that is understandable for all different disciplines is only full color photo of landslides independent of terminology. Accordingly, full color printing of landslide photos together with full color printing of geological maps is indispensable for this new landslide journal. The first issue of the journal was published in April 2004. The journal papers have been cited in Web of Science from the beginning in 2004. The first 2007 impact factor of the journal was 0.986, which has increased to 4.708 in 2019. CiteScore by Elsevier, which started in 2011, increased from 3.1 in 2011 to 8.2 in 2019. Journal rank in 2019, based on the impact factor, is No. 2 within 39 journals in the category of “Engineering, Geological,” and the 2019 journal rank based on the CiteScore is No. 1 within 189 journals in the category of “Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology.”

As seen in Fig. 1, Landslides moved to a monthly journal from January 2018 and published over 2000 pages/year from the beginning of 2018. The total number of pages per issue was over 200 in 2018–2019. The ICL, in cooperation with ICL supporting organizations and governments and non-ICL member organizations, is currently proceeding with an initiative to promote understanding and reducing landslide disasters. The journal “Landslides” is now able to provide a common platform for such an initiative through the periodic publication of thematic issues and the monthly publication of News/Kyoto Commitment.

Fig. 1
figure 1

Development of Journal Landslides since 2004

Thematic issue “Sendai Landslide Partnerships 2015–2025”

The Journal Landslides will publish thematic issues periodically in addition to its regular issues. Evaluation system and processing of papers in thematic issue in the Journal Landslides are exactly same as in the regular issues. No guest editors or guest reviewers are invited specific to the thematic issues; editors and reviewers are the same as with the regular issues. Papers which are published online on time for the planned dates of the thematic issues are included in the corresponding thematic issues. Online published papers on later dates will be included in the regular issues. When the number of accepted papers is not enough for a full thematic issue or a partial thematic issue, the planned thematic issue will be cancelled. All accepted papers will, in such circumstances, be published in the regular issues. Article categories of the thematic issues are the same as with the regular issues, namely, Review papers, Original papers, Recent landslides, Technical notes, IPL/WCOE, and News/Kyoto Commitment. We recently noticed that this information was not clearly informed to authors and the Editorial Manager was not well prepared for this aspect. As such, most authors did not select a proper category of their manuscript within the thematic issue. Now, we have improved this part in the Editorial Manager of Landslides.

ISDR-ICL Sendai Partnerships 2015–2025 was proposed by the ICL at the Working Session No. 4 “Underlying Risk Factors” held in the morning of 16 March 2015 during the third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (WCDRR) on 14–18 March 2015 in Sendai, Japan. The launch of the Partnerships was announced in the end of the session. The signing ceremony of the ISDR-ICL Sendai Partnerships was organized in a Japanese Restaurant “JUNSEN” in Sendai, Japan, from 12:00 to 13:30 on 16 March 2015 (Fig. 2). Sixteen intergovernmental, international, and national organizations signed the Sendai Partnerships. Heads of some organizations attended and signed there; some organizations nominated an officer-in-charge of disaster reduction to sign the documents while some organizations signed it in advance and sent a representative to bring the signed partnerships to this signing ceremony. Following organizations signed the Sendai Partnerships on 16 March 2015.

Fig. 2
figure 2

Signing ceremony of ISDR-ICL Sendai Partnerships 2015–2025 on 16 March 2015 in Sendai, Japan

International Consortium on Landslides (ICL)/United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR)/United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)/Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)/United Nations University (UNU)/International Council for Science (ICSU)/World Federation of Engineering Organizations (WFEO)/International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS)/International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics (IUGG)/Cabinet Office, Government of Japan (CAO)/Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Government of Japan (MEXT)/Kyoto University/Science Council of Japan/National Civil Protection Department, Italian Presidency of the Council of Ministers, Government of Italy/National Protection and Rescue Directorate, Republic of Croatia/Global Risk Forum (GRF) Davos.

Thereafter, the following six organizations signed it in 2015–2017: World Meteorological Organizations (WMO)/EuroGeoSurvey/Indonesian National agency for Disaster Management/Integrated Research on Disaster Reduction (IRDR)/Administration of the Republic of Slovenia for Civil Protection and Disaster Relief (URSZR)/Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

The activity reports of the Sendai Landslide Partnerships 2015–2025 are periodically updated and uploaded on the website of Sendai Framework Voluntary Commitment below.>

Deliverables and activities in progress of the partnerships from 2015 to 2020 are:

  1. 1.

    A full color open access book “ISDR-ICL Sendai Partnerships 2015–2025” published in 2017

  2. 2.

    Two volumes of ISDR-ICL Landslide Interactive Teaching Tools published in 2018

  3. 3.

    Kyoto Landslide Commitment 2020 (to be launched in November 2020)

  4. 4.

    Fifth World Landslide Forum (WLF5) and related products

    1. a.

      2 thematic issues “Sendai Landslide Partnerships 2015–2025” and 6 volumes of full color books will be published in 2020.

    2. b.

      Conference part to WLF5 will be organized on 2–6 November 2021 in Kyoto, Japan.

    3. c.

      A new thematic issue “Kyoto Landslide Commitment 2020” will be published in October–November in 2021.

    4. d.

      One-page abstract volume and electronic posters will be published for WLF5 in 2021 (Sassa 2020b).

The foundation of the Sendai Landslide Partnerships 2015–2025 was reported by Margareta Wahlström, United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction (Wahlström 2015) and Kyoji Sassa (2015). Figure 2 presents the signing ceremony of the Sendai Landslide Partnerships (ISDR-ICL Sendai Partnerships) 2015–2025 held at the lunch time on 16 March 2015 in Sendai, Japan.

Sendai Framework Voluntary Commitment was encouraged by Mami Mizutori (2020) and the details are introduced by Matsuoka and Rocha (2020) in this issue.

Development to the Kyoto Landslide Commitment 2020

Sendai Landslide Partnerships 2015–2025 has been very effective to promote understanding and reducing landslide disaster risk. This framework is a powerful tool to provide strong background in the fund raising for the planned activities by each partner. However, it will be completed by 2025. Landslide disaster risk reduction will remain a key necessity and become even more important after 2025 due to the climate change and urban development we are facing. ICL and the partners of the Sendai Landslide Partnerships wish to develop this initiative further to 2025, 2030, and even beyond. Therefore, the draft of Kyoto 2020 Commitment for Global Promotion of Understanding and Reducing Landslide Disaster Risk (KLC2020) was developed in 2018–2019 (Sassa 2019a). The final draft was approved and signed by 57 organizations who attended the 2019 ICL-IPL Conference at UNESCO headquarters on 16–19 September 2019 (Sassa 2019b). Thereafter, 11 organizations signed KLC2020. Current signatory members are 68 (as of 8 July 2020). The ICL is calling for further founding partners until 5 September 2020. All signatories are invited to the launching online/virtual session of Kyoto Landslide Commitment 2020 on 5 November 2020 (Sassa 2020a).

The session will be held starting with the identification and recognition of each participating signatory as a KLC2020 partner, the high-level panel discussion including greeting messages by KLC2020 signatories from ICL supporting organizations, a panel discussion, and the adoption of the Formal Declaration of the Launching of KLC2020 by all participants, followed by closing remarks. Chairs of the session are the following: David Malone (Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations/Rector of UNU) (Malone 2020) and Qunli Han (Executive Director of IRDR/Chair of Global Promotion Committee of IPL) in the greeting messages, and Matjaž Mikoš (Co-Chairs of Global Promotion Committee of IPL/Chair of WLF4 in 2017), and Moderator of the session is Badaoui Rouhban (IPL advisor/Moderator of the 3rd WCDRR session adopting the SLP 2015–2025) in the panel discussion.

Call for partners of the Kyoto Landslide Commitment 2020

KLC2020 is a commitment to the Sendai Landslide Partnerships 2015–2025, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015–2030, the 2030 Agenda Sustainable Development Goals, the New Urban Agenda, and the Paris Climate Agreement. Its follow-up does not require any additional duties or responsibilities from the partners other than their own intrinsic works/mandates. All KLC2020 partners are those organizations who already have division(s)/entity(ies) whose intrinsic missions are related to understand and reduce landslide disaster risk. Accordingly, their success in carrying out their missions is in itself the successful commitment to KLC2020. KLC2020 is planned to continue further to 2030 and beyond. Achievement and management of the KLC2020 will be examined at each World Landslide Forum every 3 years. Priority actions will be updated, so will the Partners of KLC2020 as some will be added and some may leave due to various reasons such as change of society, landslide disaster type, or partners themselves. As such, KLC2020 is a living and growing partnership.

Potential partners of the KLC2020 are the following:

  1. 1.

    ICL member organizations (full members, associate members and supporters)

  2. 2.

    ICL supporting organizations from the UN system, international or national organizations and programmes

  3. 3.

    Government ministries and offices in countries having more than two ICL on-going members

  4. 4.

    International associations/societies which contribute to the organization of WLF5 in 2021 and WLF6 in 2023

  5. 5.

    Other organizations having some aspects of activities related to understanding and reducing landslide disaster risk as their intrinsic missions

Those who are willing to join KLC2020 are requested to email ICL secretariat <> with subject of Kyoto Landslide Commitment 2020.