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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    Like water for justice
    Joshi, D. - \ 2015
    Geoforum 61 (2015). - ISSN 0016-7185 - p. 111 - 121.
    environmental justice - management - himalaya - politics - south
    The narrative of environmental justice is powerfully and passionately advocated by researchers, practitioners and activists across scale and space. Yet, because these struggles are multifaceted and pluralistic, rooted in complex, evolving “socio-material-political interminglings” the concept is difficult to grasp, and even harder to realise. Recent literature raises concerns as to what makes for environmental injustices, how injustices are defined, classified as urgent and/or critical, by whom and why, how they gain political attention, etc. This paper draws attention to these issues by contrasting the largely untold, nonetheless entrenched and enduring “old” water supply injustices in the Darjeeling region of the Eastern Himalaya in India with articulate contestations relating to the speedy advancement of “new” hydropower projects here. Water supply problems in the Darjeeling region are particularly wicked – nested in fractious ethnicity–identity political conflicts. These complex local realities tend to obscure the everyday challenges relating to water as well as render these problems spatially anecdotal. What happens – or does not – around water here is certainly unique, yet comparison to other struggles in other settings show that locational and environmental politics provide critical evidence to question the several implicit universalisms in relation to water justice.
    Edifice growth and collapse of the Pliocene Mt. Kenya: Evidence of large scale debris avalanches on a high altitude glaciated volcano
    Schoorl, J.M. ; Veldkamp, A. ; Claessens, L.F.G. ; Gorp, W. van; Wijbrans, J.R. - \ 2014
    Global and Planetary Change 123 (2014)Part A. - ISSN 0921-8181 - p. 44 - 54.
    african climate-change - mount kenya - tectonic evolution - gregory rift - east-africa - deposits - geochronology - uplift - pleistocene - himalaya
    The cyclic growth and destruction of the Late Cenozoic Stratovolcano Mt. Kenya have been reconstructed for its southeastern segment. At least three major debris avalanche deposits have been reconstructed and dated. The oldest deposits indicate an edifice collapse around 4.9 Ma (40Ar/39Ar), followed by a larger event around 4.1 Ma (40Ar/39Ar). The last and best preserved debris avalanche deposit, with still some morphological expression covering the whole 1214 km2 SE sector, occurred around 2.83 Ma (40Ar/39Ar). This very large debris avalanche event must have truncated the whole top of Mt. Kenya. Of the original typical hummocky relief, only local topographical depressions are still best visible and preserved. Using known geometric empirical parameters of the 3 preserved debris-avalanche deposits, the height of the sector collapse is estimated to be in the range of 5100–6500 m above the current height of 1000 m a.s.l. near the end lobe of the VDA deposits. This demonstrates that Mt. Kenya attained impressive altitudes during its main activity in the Pliocene, being one of the highest mountains in that time and was most probably covered by an ice cap. Correcting for the known net eastward tilting post eruptive uplift of approximately 500 m of the Mt. Kenya summit, our reconstruction indicates that an at least 5.6 to 7 km a.s.l. high active Mt. Kenya existed in the Pliocene landscape between 5.1 and 2.8 Ma. This volcano must have significantly contributed to regional environmental change, by catching rain on its eastern slopes and projecting a rain shadow towards the Kenya Rift valley in the west. The last major edifice collapse event around 2.8 Ma coincides with a major change in regional vegetation. This suggests that the truncating of Mt. Kenya may have caused significant changes in the local climate surrounding Mt. Kenya with possible implications for environmental change in the central Kenya Rift valley, the cradle of hominin evolution.
    Geography of mammalian herbivores in the Indian Trans-Himalaya: patterns and processes
    Namgail, T. - \ 2009
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Herbert Prins, co-promotor(en): Sip van Wieren. - [S.l.] : S.n. - ISBN 9789085855248 - 122
    herbivoren - zoogdieren - zoögeografie - geografische verdeling - india - biogeografie - ecotonen - soortendiversiteit - soortenrijkdom - grote grazers - himalaya - herbivores - mammals - zoogeography - geographical distribution - india - biogeography - ecotones - species diversity - species richness - large herbivores - himalaya
    Animals need adequate resources so that their populations not only survive but thrive. So they seek places that can best provide them. Yet, they face several challenges, while obtaining these resources, e.g., predators, competitors and physical obstacles: mountains and rivers. Some animals are better-equipped to overcome these challenges, and are widely distributed, while others are not. These differences generate uneven pattern of distribution of life on earth. Tsewang Namgail’s study on the mammalian herbivores in the arid regions of the Himalayan mountains shows that interspecific competition is a major factor determining distribution and diversity patterns of these animals. Topography is also an important factor determining their coexistence, and thus it plays a crucial role in the formation and maintenance of herbivore assemblies in these drier, alpine regions. The study highlights that herbivores change their diet spectrum in response to the number of other herbivore species in an assemblage, and therefore emphasizes the inclusion of interspecific interactions in species distribution models.
    Pastoral nomads of the Indian Changthang: production system, landuse and socio-economic changes
    Namgail, T. ; Bhatnagar, Y.V. ; Mishra, C. ; Bagchi, S. - \ 2007
    Human Ecology 35 (2007)4. - ISSN 0300-7839 - p. 497 - 504.
    rangelands - himalaya - ladakh
    Soil erosion modelling: description and data requirements for the LISEM physically based erosion model
    Elsen, H.G.M. van den - \ 2002
    Wageningen : Alterra - 20
    bodem - erosie - bodemdegradatie - landgebruik - modellen - himalaya - soil - erosion - soil degradation - land use - models - himalaya
    Presentation of an EU funded project, An interdisciplinary approach to analyse the dynamics of forest and soil degradation and to develop a sustainable agro-ecological strategy for fragile Himalayan watersheds. 'Himalayan Degradation'
    High altitude survival: conflicts between pastoralism and wildlife in the Trans-Himalaya
    Mishra, C. - \ 2001
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): H.H.T. Prins; S.E. van Wieren. - S.l. : S.n. - ISBN 9789058085429 - 131
    pastoralisme - nomadisme - kuddes (herds) - wild - wildbescherming - conflict - agropastorale systemen - india - himalaya - pastoralism - nomadism - herds - wildlife - wildlife conservation - conflict - agropastoral systems - india - himalaya

    Keywords : Pastoralism, agriculture, wildlife, Himalaya, competition, bharal, yak, livestock, snow leopard, wolf, herbivore, ungulate, resource, rangeland, steppe, mountain

    How harmonious is the coexistence between pastoralism and wildlife? This thesis is a response to repeated calls for a better understanding of pastoralism and its impacts on wildlife in India. Based on studies in the high altitude rangelands of the Trans-Himalaya that have a grazing history of over three millennia, I attempt to understand an agro-pastoral system and its conflicts with wildlife, with the ultimate aim of guiding conservation policy and management. Though the bulk of the thesis addresses the issues of resource limitation and competition between livestock and wild herbivores, an attempt is also made to understand the social aspects of livestock grazing. At the level of the family, which is the basic unit of production, the agro-pastoral system appears to suitably maximize production while mediating environmental risk. However, the families undergo substantial financial losses due to livestock depredation by the snow leopard Uncia uncia and the wolf Canis lupus. The endangered carnivores are persecuted in retaliation. Rangeland vegetation appears to be at different stages of degradation due to intensive and pervasive human use, and a global comparison reveals that the Trans-Himalaya fall at the low end of the range in terms of graminoid biomass. Animal production modeling and analysis of stocking densities reveal resource limitation for large herbivores at the landscape level, with a majority of the rangelands in the 12,000 km 2study area being overstocked. Studies on the diet of bharal Pseudois nayaur , a wild mountain ungulate, and seven species of livestock, reveal substantial resource overlap. This, together with resource limitation, results in resource competition. Bharal get out-competed in rangelands with high stocking density, where reduction in bharal density is brought about by resource-dependent variation in fecundity and neonate mortality. Theoretical analyses reveal a consistent morphological pattern in species body masses in the Trans-Himalayan wild herbivore assemblage, arguably brought about by the interplay of competition and facilitation. The analyses also suggest possible competitive exclusion of several wild herbivores by livestock over the last three millennia. The results of the thesis are relevant to land use planning and conservation management.

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