Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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    Drivers of groundwater utilization in water-limited rice production systems in Nepal
    Urfels, Anton ; McDonald, Andrew J. ; Krupnik, Timothy J. ; Oel, Pieter R. van - \ 2020
    Water International 45 (2020)1. - ISSN 0250-8060 - p. 39 - 59.
    decision processes - Eastern Gangetic Plains - Groundwater irrigation - Nepal - resilience - smallholders

    Most rice farmers in Nepal’s Terai region do not fully utilize irrigation during breaks in monsoon rainfall. This leads to yield losses despite abundant groundwater resources and ongoing expansion of diesel pumps and tubewell infrastructure. We investigate this puzzle by characterizing delay factors governing tubewell irrigation across wealth and precipitation gradients. After the decision to irrigate, different factors delay irrigation by roughly one week. While more sustainable and inexpensive energy for pumping may eventually catalyze transformative change, we identify near-term interventions that may increase rice farmers’ resilience to water stress in smallholder-dominated farming communities based on prevailing types of irrigation infrastructure.

    Building Resilience to Chronic Landslide Hazard Through Citizen Science
    Cieslik, Katarzyna ; Shakya, Puja ; Uprety, Madhab ; Dewulf, Art ; Russell, Caroline ; Clark, Julian ; Dhital, Megh Raj ; Dhakal, Amrit - \ 2019
    Frontiers in Earth Science 7 (2019). - ISSN 2296-6463
    chronic hazard - citizen science - landslide - local knowledge - Nepal - participatory science

    Landslides disrupt livelihoods, cause loss of human lives and damages to property and infrastructure. In the case of Nepal, the destructive impact of landslides has been steadily increasing as a result of the rising occupation of marginal land and extreme weather events caused by climate change. In particular, the impacts of seasonal, shallow landslides have been underestimated due to underreporting, and lack appropriate policy response. Within this paper, we argue that citizen science – the practice of incorporating the general public in the process of knowledge co-production – may help address this issue by increasing the knowledge base of stakeholders at different levels. We present the preliminary results from an interdisciplinary scoping study of two landslide sites in Western Nepal, in Bajhang and Bajura, where the Landslide-EVO research project, including a citizen science component, is currently being implemented. The aim of the project is to innovate participatory environmental monitoring and to generate evidence to support resilience. Our exploratory qualitative investigation outlines the strategies currently employed by the local communities that continue living in the landslide affected areas. These include demographic shifts and patterns, land use changes and occupational diversification. We argue that these existing local adaptation and mitigation practices compound a wealth of experiential knowledge. Based on evidence from literature, as well as our first-hand experience of starting citizen science activities in the both landslide sites, we argue that citizen science has the potential to build on local knowledge base and strengthen the adaptive capacities of different level stakeholders. Our theoretical contribution is the proposed typology of citizen-science interventions. We distinguish between community science, participatory environmental monitoring and virtual citizen science, providing examples of how they can benefit stakeholders at different levels and/or different types of research. Finally, we examine the ways in which different types of citizen science could be applied in our case study sites, specifying the conditions under which they can attain maximum usefulness.

    Everyday realities of reintegration: experiences of Maoist ‘verified’ women ex-combatants in the aftermath of war in Nepal
    K.C, Luna - \ 2019
    Conflict, Security and Development 19 (2019)5. - ISSN 1467-8802 - p. 453 - 474.
    demobilisation and reintegration - disarmament - gender equality - Maoist armed conflict - Nepal - post-conflict settings - Verified women ex-combatant

    Global studies of women’s experiences in the disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration (DDR) process have explored its implications for women in the post-war period. Scholars have also already pointed out that ex-combatants in Nepal are facing difficulties in the reintegration period. This paper examines in particular the consequences of the DDR process for so-called Maoist ‘verified’ women ex-combatants, those who were formally acknowledged as former Maoist combatants and have experienced the entire DDR process. The paper asks how they experienced this process and how it shaped their post-conflict options. The paper first problematises the idea of a ‘return to normalcy’ and, second, shows how female ex-combatants suffered multiple forms of marginalisation as they sought to give new shape to their lives. I argue that this is in part due to the lack of a gender-inclusive framework in the DDR policy in Nepal and the failure to take into account the voices of women ex-combatants.

    Climates of urbanization: local experiences of water security, conflict and cooperation in peri-urban South-Asia
    Roth, Dik ; Khan, Muhammad Shah Alam ; Jahan, Israt ; Rahman, Rezaur ; Narain, Vishal ; Singh, Aditya Kumar ; Priya, Monica ; Sen, Sucharita ; Shrestha, Anushiya ; Yakami, Saroj - \ 2019
    Climate Policy 19 (2019)sup 1. - ISSN 1469-3062 - p. S78 - S93.
    (community) resilience - Bangladesh - climate change policies - India - Nepal - peri-urban water security

    This article explores changing water (in)securities in a context of urbanization and climate change in the peri-urban spaces of four South-Asian cities: Khulna (Bangladesh), Gurugram and Hyderabad (India), and Kathmandu (Nepal). As awareness of water challenges like intensifying use, deteriorating quality and climate change is growing, water security gets more scientific and policy attention. However, in peri-urban areas, the dynamic zones between the urban and the rural, it remains under-researched, despite the specific characteristics of these spaces: intensifying flows of goods, resources, people, and technologies; diversifying uses of, and growing pressures on land and water; and complex and often contradictory governance and jurisdictional institutions. This article analyses local experiences of water (in-)security, conflict and cooperation in relation to existing policies. It uses insights from the analysis of the case studies as a point of departure for a critical reflection on whether a ‘community resilience’ discourse contributes to better understanding these cases of water insecurity and conflict, and to better policy solutions. The authors argue that a community resilience focus risks neglecting important insights about how peri-urban water insecurity problems are experienced by peri-urban populations and produced or reproduced in specific socio-economic, political and policy contexts. Unless supported by in-depth hydro-social research, such a focus may depoliticize basically political questions of water (re) allocation, prioritization, and access for marginalized groups. Therefore, the authors plead for more critical awareness among researchers and policy-makers of the consequences of using a ‘community resilience’ discourse for making sense of peri-urban water (in-)security. Key policy insights There is an urgent need for more (critical) policy and scientific attention to peri-urban water insecurity, conflict, and climate change. Although a changing climate will likely play a role, more attention is needed to how water insecurities and vulnerabilities in South Asia are socially produced. Researchers and policy-makers should avoid using depoliticized (community) resilience approaches for basically socio-political problems.

    Power interplay between actors : using material and ideational resources to shape local adaptation plans of action (LAPAs) in Nepal
    Vij, Sumit ; Biesbroek, Robbert ; Groot, Annemarie ; Termeer, Katrien ; Parajuli, Binod Prasad - \ 2019
    Climate Policy 19 (2019)5. - ISSN 1469-3062 - p. 571 - 584.
    Climate change adaptation - local adaptation plans of action (LAPAs) - material and ideational resources - Nepal - power interplay

    Deliberation over how to adapt to short or long-term impacts of climate change takes place in a complex political setting, where actors’ interests and priorities shape the temporal dimension of adaptation plans, policies and actions. As actors interact to pursue their individual or collective interests, these struggles turn into dynamic power interplay. In this article, we aim to show how power interplay shapes local adaptation plans of action (LAPAs) in Nepal to be short-term and reactive. We use an interactional framing approach through interaction analyses and observations to analyse how actors use material and ideational resources to pursue their interests. Material and ideational resources that an actor deploys include political authority, knowledge of adaptation science and national/local policy-making processes, financial resources and strong relations with international non-governmental organizations and donor agencies. We find that facilitators and local politicians have a very prominent role in meetings relating to LAPAs, resulting in short-termism of LAPAs. Findings suggest that there is also a lack of female participation contributing to short-term orientated plans. We conclude that such power interplay analysis can help to investigate how decision making on the temporal aspects of climate adaptation policy takes place at the local level. Key Policy insights Short-termism of LAPAs is attributed to the power interplay between actors during the policy design process. Improved participation of the most vulnerable, especially women, can lead to the preparation of adaptation plans and strategies focusing on both the short and long-term. It is pertinent to consider power interplay in the design and planning of adaptation policy in order to create a level-playing field between actors for inclusive decision-making. Analysis of dynamic power interplay can help in investigating climate change adaptation controversies that are marked by uncertainties and ambiguities.

    Nutrition-sensitive agriculture interventions in mountain areas-Lessons learned from a 5-country project to upscale best practices
    Bernet, Thomas ; Kurbanalieva, Shakhnoza ; Pittore, Katherine ; Zilly, Barbara ; Luttikholt, Louise ; Eyhorn, Frank ; Batlogg, Verena ; Arbenz, Markus - \ 2018
    Mountain Research and Development 38 (2018)4. - ISSN 0276-4741 - p. 278 - 287.
    Ethiopia - Kyrgyzstan - Mountain agriculture - Nepal - nutrition - Pakistan - Peru - rural development policy

    Many people living in mountain regions in lowand middle-income countries are vulnerable to food and nutrition insecurity, which contributes to poor nutritional status. Food and nutrition security require stability of access to affordable, safe, diverse, and nutritious foods. In mountainous areas, affordability and access to diverse foods are challenged by climatic factors constraining agricultural production, poor infrastructure, and geographic isolation. This article describes a nutrition-sensitive agriculture (NSA) project focusing on 5 countries-Ethiopia, Kyrgyzstan, Nepal, Pakistan, and Peru-where 132 microinterventions were implemented by rural service providers (RSPs) who received training and technical support from the project. These microinterventions serve as learning cases for advocacy work to promote the NSA approach at the local, national, and global levels. They are also documented on an Internet platform allowing RSPs and other stakeholders to share best practices and lessons learned at the national and global levels. Preliminary results indicate that this approach is highly effective in addressing nutrition and livelihood issues in remote mountain areas. To scale up the approach and boost its integration into policies at the local, national, and global levels, 2 aspects will be critical. First, more systemic and integrated NSA initiatives need to be implemented that functionally combine production- A nd consumption-related aspects to effectively change nutrition behavior and serve as learning cases for scaling up. Second, effective capacity development of RSPs and encouragement of interaction among them is key to empowering them as change agents.

    Estimation of Population Density of Bearded Vultures Using Line-Transect Distance Sampling and Identification of Perceived Threats in the Annapurna Himalaya Range of Nepal
    Subedi, Tulsi R. ; Virani, Munir Z. ; Gurung, Sandesh ; Buij, Ralph ; Baral, Hem S. ; Buechley, Evan R. ; Anadón, José D. ; Sah, Shahrul A.M. - \ 2018
    Journal of Raptor Research 52 (2018)4. - ISSN 0892-1016 - p. 443 - 453.
    Annapurna Himalaya Range - Bearded Vulture - Gypaetus barbatus - line-transect distance sampling - Nepal - poison - population abundance

    Bearded Vulture (Gypaetus barbatus) populations are declining across most of the species' global range. We studied Bearded Vultures in the Annapurna Himalaya Range of Nepal using line-transect distance sampling, and quantified the perceptions of threats to the species by interviewing local people in two different elevational areas. We recorded 35 Bearded Vultures (26 adults, 5 non-adults, 4 birds of unknown age) along a 168-km transect, yielding an encounter rate of 0.21 individuals/km. Based on distance sampling, we estimated a vulture density of 0.184 individuals/km2 in the study area. Local people in the two areas perceived population status and threats to the Bearded Vulture differently. At the lower elevational range (1398-2108 m), people perceived that the vulture population is declining and that the major threats are food shortage and secondary poisoning via the use of poisons by livestock herders to kill mammalian carnivores. At higher elevations (2538-3813 m), people perceived that the vulture population is stable with no lack of food; there also was a larger prevalence of the use of vulture body parts for traditional medicine in this area. Our study suggests that unintentional poisoning, food shortage, and use of vulture body parts are the primary threats to the Bearded Vulture in the Annapurna Himalaya Range of Nepal.

    Factors affecting pesticide safety behaviour : The perceptions of Nepalese farmers and retailers
    Bhandari, Govinda ; Atreya, Kishor ; Yang, Xiaomei ; Fan, Liangxin ; Geissen, Violette - \ 2018
    Science of the Total Environment 631-632 (2018). - ISSN 0048-9697 - p. 1560 - 1571.
    Health belief model - Health symptoms - Nepal - Pesticide use - Vegetable farming
    Indiscriminate use of pesticides in vegetable farming is an emerging problem resulting in increasing health and environmental risks in developing countries including Nepal. As there are limited studies focusing on farmers’ and retailers’ knowledge related to pesticide use and associated risks as well as safety behaviour, this study assesses their perceptions of pesticide use, associated impacts on human and environmental health and safety behaviours. This study is also intended to quantify pesticide use in vegetable farming. We used the Health Belief Model (HBM) to evaluate farmers’ and retailers’ safety behaviour associated with pesticides. We interviewed 183 farmers and 45 retailers. The study revealed that farmers applied pesticides at an average of 2.9 kg a.i./ha per crop per season; and insecticides, especially pyrethrins and pyrethroids as well as organophosphate, were the most frequently used. Retailers were more aware of the threats surrounding pesticide use and were thus more aware of the risks to their own health as well as to the health of animals, birds, fishes, and honey bees. Headache (73.8%) was the most commonly reported acute health symptom of pesticide use. Farmers often did not adopt the appropriate safety measures when handling pesticides sighting the constrained perceived barriers (direct path coefficient, DPC = −0.837) such as feeling uncomfortable and the unavailability of safety measures. Likewise, retailers lacked the incentive (direct path coefficient, DPC = 0.397) to adopt the necessary safety measures while handling pesticides. Training and awareness programs addressing safe handling practices and safety measures as well as education concerning the long-term risks of pesticide exposure on health and the environment, through radio, television and posters, may improve the safety behaviour of farmers and retailers.
    Changing climate policy paradigms in Bangladesh and Nepal
    Vij, Sumit ; Biesbroek, Robbert ; Groot, Annemarie ; Termeer, Katrien - \ 2018
    Environmental Science & Policy 81 (2018). - ISSN 1462-9011 - p. 77 - 85.
    Bangladesh - Changing policy paradigms - Climate change adaptation - Drivers of change - Modes of change - Nepal
    The aim of this article is to explain and compare the changes in climate policy paradigms (CPPs) of Bangladesh and Nepal. Climate policies are shaped by the underlying CPPs that refer to a dominant set of prevailing and institutionalized ideas and strategies to reduce the impacts of climate change. We focus the analysis on the timeframe between 1997 and 2016, using policy documents (n = 46) and semi-structured interviews (n = 43) with key policy actors. We find that in both countries several CPPs have emerged: disaster risk reduction, climate change adaptation, mainstreaming, and localized action for adaptation. In Bangladesh, specific policy goals and instruments for each CPP have emerged, whereas in Nepal the government has been struggling to develop specific policy instruments to implement the paradigms. We conclude that competing CPPs currently exist which creates diversified policy responses to climate change impacts in both countries. This ‘layering’ of different CPPs can be attributed to drivers such as unstable political situation, lack of financial support, influence of national and international non-governmental organizations and global policy frameworks. The findings in our study are relevant to further discussions on how to design future climate policy responses to adapt to climate change.
    Becoming an Engineer or a Lady Engineer : Exploring Professional Performance and Masculinity in Nepal’s Department of Irrigation
    Liebrand, Janwillem ; Udas, Pranita Bhushan - \ 2017
    Engineering Studies 9 (2017)2. - ISSN 1937-8629 - p. 120 - 139.
    Engineering - gender - irrigation - masculinities - Nepal - water
    In this article, using the Department of Irrigation in Nepal as a case study, we argue that professional performance in irrigation engineering and water resources development is gendered and normalised as ‘masculine’. In Nepal, the masculinity of professional performance in irrigation engineering is located in intersections of gender, class, caste, ethnicity, sexuality, nationality and disciplinary education, and hinders especially female engineers to perform as a ‘normal’ engineer. Our analysis is based on interviews with male and female engineers in the department, documentation research, and ethnographic observations in the period 2005–2011. Our study suggests that professional performances and engineering identities in the organisation have always been tied to performances of masculinity. This implies that career prospects in the Nepalese irrigation department for female engineers remain grim; because for them to succeed and belong, they have to reconcile the near incommensurable: a performance of a ‘lady engineer’ with that of a ‘normal’ engineer.
    Social capital, conflict, and adaptive collaborative governance : Exploring the dialectic
    McDougall, C.L. ; Ram Banjade, Mani - \ 2015
    Ecology and Society 20 (2015)1. - ISSN 1708-3087
    Adaptive collaborative governance - Community forestry - Conflict - Equity - Livelihoods - Nepal - Participatory action research - Social capital

    Previously lineal and centralized natural resource management and development paradigms have shifted toward the recognition of complexity and dynamism of social-ecological systems, and toward more adaptive, decentralized, and collaborative models. However, certain messy and surprising dynamics remain under-recognized, including the inherent interplay between conflict, social capital, and governance. In this study we consider the dynamic intersections of these three often (seemingly) disparate phenomena. In particular, we consider the changes in social capital and conflict that accompanied a transition by local groups toward adaptive collaborative governance. The findings are drawn from multiyear research into community forestry in Nepal using comparative case studies. The study illustrates the complex, surprising, and dialectical relations among these three phenomena. Findings include: a demonstration of the pervasive nature of conflict and “dark side” of social capital; that collaborative efforts changed social capital, rather than simply enhancing it; and that conflict at varying scales ultimately had some constructive influences.

    Grimmia (Bryopsida, Grimmiaceae) in the Nepalese Khumbu Valley
    Greven, H.C. - \ 2002
    Journal of Bryology 24 (2002)2. - ISSN 0373-6687 - p. 157 - 161.
    flora - Nepal - bryologie - mossen - taxonomie - vegetatie - Azië - Nepal
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