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Natural disasters impose huge uncertainty and loss to human lives and economic activities. Landslides are one disaster that has become more prevalent because of anthropogenic disturbances, such as land-cover changes, land degradation, and expansion of infrastructure. These are further exacerbated by more extreme precipitation due to climate change, which is predicted to trigger more landslides and threaten sustainable development in vulnerable regions. Although biodiversity conservation and development are often regarded as having a trade-off relationship, here we present a global analysis of the area with co-benefits, where conservation through expanding protection and reducing deforestation can not only benefit biodiversity but also reduce landslide risks to human society. High overlap exists between landslide susceptibility and areas of endemism for mammals, birds, and amphibians, which are mostly concentrated in mountain regions. We identified 247 mountain ranges as areas with high vulnerability, having both exceptional biodiversity and landslide risks, accounting for 25.8% of the global mountainous areas. Another 31 biodiverse mountains are classified as future vulnerable mountains as they face increasing landslide risks because of predicted climate change and deforestation. None of these 278 mountains reach the Aichi Target 11 of 17% coverage by protected areas. Of the 278 mountains, 52 need immediate actions because of high vulnerability, severe threats from future deforestation and precipitation extremes, low protection, and high-population density and anthropogenic activities. These actions include protected area expansion, forest conservation, and restoration where it could be a cost-effective way to reduce the risks of landslides.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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