Land Release is the process of applying all reasonable effort to identify, define, and remove all presence and suspicion of mines/ERW through non-technical survey, technical survey and/or clearance. The criteria for “all reasonable effort” shall be defined by the NMAA. Clearance is the last activity in this process and should ideally only be carried out in Confirmed Hazardous Areas (CHA), which are normally established following a non-technical survey or technical survey.
The aim of clearance is the identification and removal or destruction of all mines and Explosive Remnants of War (ERW) hazards, (including unexploded sub-munitions), from a specified area to a specified depth to ensure the land is safe for land users. The objective is to promote a culture where the demining community seeks to achieve this target by developing and applying appropriate management procedures, by establishing and continuously improving the skills of managers and deminers, and by procuring safe, effective and efficient equipment.
The beneficiaries of humanitarian demining programmes must be confident that cleared and released land is safe for their use. This requires management systems and clearance procedures which are appropriate, effective, efficient and safe. All relevant parts and members of the local community should be involved in the process and should also receive regular briefings and explanations during the clearance operation as this acts as a very effective confidence building measure. Community Liaison (CL) is an integral part of the land release process and can be achieved by the services of a Mine Risk Education (MRE) team, or by suitably trained members of the demining organisation.
This standard adopts a two-stage approach. Stage 1, Quality Assurance (QA), involves the accreditation and monitoring of the demining organisation before and during the clearance process. To achieve this, demining organisations must establish an effective management organisation, develop and maintain procedures, and apply these procedures in a safe, effective and efficient manner. Management procedures should be transparent and auditable. Community involvement in the demining process should be monitored as part of the QA process. Stage 2, Quality Control (QC), involves the process of inspection of cleared land before it is formally released to the beneficiary for use.
This combined application of QA (before and during the clearance process) with post-clearance QC will contribute to achieving an acceptable level of confidence that the land is safe for its intended use. The quality of clearance must be acceptable to both the National Mine Action Authority (NMAA) and the local community that benefits.
Where no mines are to be expected, the guidance provided in IMAS 09.11 Battle Area Clearance (BAC) or IATG 11.30 ASA Explosions – EOD Clearance should be followed as appropriate to the situation.
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