Land release is the use of survey and clearance to remove the threat of mines and explosive remnants of war (ERW).

Mine and ERW contamination can vary widely. For example, factors such as the type of conflict, the number of warring parties involved and the terrain all determine the nature of contamination and the type of response required.

As illustrated by the Land Release Pyramid (see figure 1), the land release process involves:

  • non-technical survey
  • technical survey
  • clearance activities

Traditionally, many governments employ clearance as a first response to suspected explosive hazards. However, using modern land release methods, which involve surveying the land first, could be a more efficient approach to land clearance.

A high-quality survey requires sufficient resources, and an efficient land release process relies on solid information, risk management and maintaining a clear record of past achievements and outstanding tasks.

Evolution of the Land Release Pyramid

The GICHD invests in training and advisory services to ensure that appropriate decisions are made in response to threats posed by mines and ERW contamination. This is to encourage efficient practices across the mine action sector.

Operational efficiency training courses include exercises based on real-life scenarios which aim to increase understanding of current operational methodologies and best practice in line with the International Mine Action Standards. These courses bring together national mine action authorities and operators from different countries, improving their capacity to lead, train and implement efficient land release practices. Specific training, advice or workshops and support areavailable on request. In addition to in-country support, the GICHD also provides remote support.