The problem of civilians becoming unintentional victims of landmine detonation in the world today is one that cannot be underestimated in terms of its importance to global and local humanitarian efforts. The human-life and financial costs associated with landmine detonation are paramount, and are being addressed by the Global community via the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping and its associated agency UNMAS (The United Nations Mine Action Service). In terms of human-life cost, the current statistic is that every 28 seconds a person steps on a landmine, resulting in 6500 – 20,000 new casualties per year. These tragic events are happening in at least 84 states, and every world region is affected. It is the intent of this literature review to enlighten the reader in two main topic areas. The first is that of mine action and our understanding of it, with specific regard to what is generally understood to be the most affected continent: Africa. A comprehensive description and discussion of the geo-political status of mine action in Southern Africa and its relation to development will be set out.
The second topic area that will be reviewed is that of predictive GIS modeling, as it applies to mine action. The intent is to put forth the scientific (i.e.: based on peer-reviewed publications) background information that justifies and supports an experiment that will be conducted. The goal, in general lay terms, will be to see whether it is possible to predict with a reasonable, usable, and repeatable amount of accuracy the delineating outlines of where minefields are located in a specific geographical study area. It is hoped that the effort with predictive GIS modeling will yield a technique that is valid for use across a variety of study areas. Having said this, the study area that is the concentration of this review is the region of Southern Africa and it must be acknowledged that the results, if positive, may not be transferrable to different Geo-political regions.