Current projects

Feasibility study for aquaculture and culture-based fisheries in mountain areas of Karnali Pradesh

This study will identify potential areas for aquaculture and culture-based fisheries in the studied districts based on geospatial analysis, district level workshops and focus group discussions along with on-site observation and measurements of the soil and water quality. It will evaluate the status of input supply, fish market and supply chain, and opportunities for fish and fisheries products and assessed local communities’ interest in fish farming and culture-based fisheries. Finally, model designs for fish seed and fish meat production for both warm and cold water species will be prepared that will be helpful for the government (e.g., province ministry) and development partners to replicate these designs through their fisheries development programs. This project is funded by DAI/USAID Nepal.

Investigator (s): Dr. Uttam Babu Shrestha (Lead), Prabesh Singh Kunwar (Consultant).

Integrating remote sensing, drone imagery, and local ecological knowledge to understand rangeland changes in Nepal

This study is the first attempt to assess changing spatial and temporal dynamics of rangeland ecosystems, and to identify the underlying drivers of such changes at national and local scales in Nepal. Three objectives of this study include: 1) assess spatial and temporal dynamics of rangelands, and the underlying causes of change at multiple scales; 2) examine changes in ecosystem service provision as a result of changes in the rangelands; and 3) document the consequences of rangeland changes on local livelihoods. The results of the project will allow decision-makers to build evidence-based policies and programs for sustainable rangelands management under climate change. It will support the development and implementation of the livestock-relevant sections of Nepal’s Local Adaption Program of Action (LAPA) under the National Adaptation Program of Action (NAPA). Finally, it will assist in preparing a rangeland policy implementation framework under the newly approved national rangeland policy. This project is funded by the National Geographic Society, USA.

Investigator (s): Dr. Uttam Babu Shrestha (Lead), Dr. Bharat Babu Shrestha, Dr. Sujata Shrestha, Dr. Hemant Raj Ojha.

Local Indicators of Climate Change Impacts: the contribution of local knowledge to climate change research

Local Indicators of Climate Change Impacts (LICCI) : the contribution of local knowledge to climate change research aims to bring indigenous and local knowledge to climate change research. Through cutting-edge science, we strive to deepen our understandings of perceived climate change impacts, and endeavor to bring indigenous and local knowledge into policy-making processes and influence international climate change negotiations. The LICCI team is dedicated to creating a wide network, which encompasses researchers, practitioners, and the general public who are interested in indigenous and local knowledge systems and climate change. This is a European Research Council (ERC) funded project led by the University of Barcelona, Spain.

Dr. Uttam Babu Shrestha from the Global Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies is one of the partners for this project.

Factors affecting childhood exposures to urban particulate (Face UP)

This project will investigate mechanisms to decrease children’s exposure to PAP in urban locations in two DAC-listed Asian countries: Indonesia and Nepal. Both suffer from severe PAP from vehicles, construction, industry and biomass burning, yet are home to different ethnicities, cultures, demographics, religions, socioeconomics, climates, built environments and environmental policies (i.e. contextual factors), all of which will impact the motivation, opportunity and capability to reduce exposure. The project consortium includes Durham University, Queensland University of Technology, Heriot-Watt University, Oxford Brookes University, UNICEF, Resilience Development Initiative (RDI), Nepal Pollution Control and Environmental Management Center (NEPCEMAC), National Health Research Council (NHRC), Bandung Disaster Study Group, Global Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies, Nepal Red Cross Society, World Health Organization, Palang Merah Indonesia (Red Cross). The project is funded by UK Research and Innovation, Government of the United Kingdom.

Investigator (s): Dr. Meghnath Dhimal, Dr. Uttam Babu Shrestha

Analysis of Vulnerability and Marginalization Risks in Nepal

This study will provide a comprehensive assessment of multi-hazard risks, including the COVID-19, quantify social vulnerability and marginalization, and explore how COVID-19 has impacted already vulnerable and marginalized communities and geographies of Nepal. It will identify and analyze publicly available data related to vulnerability and marginalization in Nepal, conduct a spatially explicit multi-hazard vulnerability assessment of Nepal including impacts of COVID-19, compare community vulnerability, marginalization, and other risk factors using quantitative metrics and apply actuarial analysis to measure the severity of risks to identify communities facing high levels of composite risk. This project is funded by USAID/Nepal.

Investigators: Uttam Babu Shrestha (Lead), Dr. Suraj Bhattarai, Dr. Resham Thapa, Dr. Krishna Devkota, Dr. Janardhan Mainali (Consultant), Dr. Sanam Aksha (Consultant), Kopila Rijal (Consultant).

Digitization of Mushrooms and Lichens collections from Nepal: Bringing Underrepresented Taxonomic Groups into the Global Biodiversity Database

The main objective of this project is digitizing specimens of mushrooms and lichens deposited in two herbaria—National Herbarium and Plant Laboratories (KATH) and Tribhuvan University (TUCH)—and one natural history museum in Nepal. It will provide an update the checklists of Mushrooms and Lichens of Nepal. The data produced in the digitization project will serve as the foundation of mycological knowledge of Nepal quantifying their availability at different deposition centres with complete metadata. Digitization will help researchers study the ecology, distribution, phenology of fungal organisms, and increase knowledge-sharing and interest-building among students and relevant user communities.

This project is funded by the Ministry of the Environment, Government of Japan.

Principal Investigator: Dr. Shiva Devkota.

Developing a Multimedia Learning Package on ‘Nature and Nature’s Contribution to People (NCP)

This project aims to produce a multimedia digital learning package on ‘Nature and Nature’s Contribution to People (NCP)’ for the young audience with an age range from 10-16 years. The learning package will include learning videos, interactive lessons and interactive activities. The goal of this project is to generate curiosity and interest among young learners in nature and sustainability and provide an immersive and interactive experience to understand and internalize the concepts. The expected outcome of the project is enhanced capacity of the young audience of South Asia on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services.

This project is funded through the Norwegian Environmental Agency.

Investigator(s): Dr. Uttam Babu Shrestha and Dr. Dovan Rai.

Development of Clinical Ethics Framework (CEF): A participatory approach to deliver evidence-based ethical guideline for COVID19 care

With the support from Public Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Ethics (PHEPRE) unit at WHO Geneva, we aim to develop a guideline for addressing syndemic ethical dilemmas during clinical care of COVID19 infected population who are unable to afford standard care.

This project is funded by the World Health Organization Geneva.

Trust in Medical Science

With support from the Global Young Academy, the GIIS implements its Global health project coordinated by our research fellow to find answers to what distrust in medical science means for health professionals, what is the current global scenario of distrust in medical science, what are the experiences and perception of health professionals from a range of countries regarding distrust in medical science, among other pertinent questions.

This project is funded by Global Young Academy, Germany.