Impact of Pesticides Application on Vegetables Growing Agro-ecosystem in Dhadhing and Kavrepalanchok Districts, Nepal

Principal Investigator: Prof. Dr. Udhab Raj Khadka

Co-Investigators: Dr. Rakshya Thapa, Amrit Science Campus; Dr. Bimalendu Kumar Mishra, Tri-Chandra Multiple Campus; Dr. Sajan Lal Shyaula (Shrestha), Nepal Academy of Science and Technology

In the present context of increasing use of pesticides and fertilizer in agriculture, the issue of pesticide is becoming crucial across the world. In recent days, this Nepal is facing haphazard application of chemical pesticides for pest management in vegetable farms degrading soil structures and loss of associated biodiversity. The preceding works are fragmented and focused mostly assessing pesticides residues in soils and vegetables. In this context, integrated and holistic understanding of agro-ecosystem in vegetable farms is highly anticipated for the formulation of agriculture policy for the sustainable maintenance of agro-ecosystem services and vegetable production. Thus, the present research has been proposed with the aim of exploring the pesticides residue status in the soil of vegetable farms and their impact on soil degradation and associated agro-biodiversity that directly or indirectly affect sustainability of vegetables production in Kavrepalanchok and Dhadhing Districts. The sample collection will be
done from two stratified vegetable farms, i.e. pesticides applied site (as treated field) and nonapplied sites (as control field). The pesticides residues will be quantified from the soil along with assessment of the qualitative and quantitative variation of free living soil nematodes, soil arthropods and insect pollinators within sampling plots. This research will provide the baseline scientific information for policy makers to reform the pesticides act, regulation, and formulate the eco-friendly pest management strategy in vegetable growing areas of Nepal.

Environmental Impacts of Open Pyre Burning of Dead Body in Nepal: Case of Bagmati River

Principal Investigator: Prof. Dr. Udhab Raj Khadka

Co-Investigators: Dr. Krishna Bahadur Bhujel; Prof. Dr. Chhatra Mani Sharma, Central Department of Environmental Science, Tribhuvan University

Duration: 30 months (starting Falgun 2079 B.S.)


Forest ecosystem plays important role in regulating climate and supporting livelihood through various goods and services. Global forest stores huge amount (60%) of carbon and among the stored carbon 50% is stored in the Tropical Forest. However, if the forest is subjected to deforestation and degradation, they release carbon into atmosphere. In recent periods, global forest is degrading at the fast pace. About 17.4% of the global GHGs are reported to be emitted from the forest sector. In Nepal, though about 45% of land is covered by forest, they are threatened by various human-induced factors like unsustainable and illegal harvesting, forest fire, unplanned infrastructure development, overgrazing, weak forest management, urbanization and resettlement, encroachment, mining and excavation, and expansion of invasive species. The deforestation and forest degradation are threatening the livelihood of forest-dependent indigenous, poor and marginalized local communities. Besides, the country is populated by more than 81% Hindu followers, who traditionally/ritually perform open pyre burning of dead body leading to deforestation and forest degradation. However, in the scientific arena, there seems scarce information on the total annual fuelwood (biomass) consumed, forest degraded, the standing biomass lost, equivalent carbon emitted, and alteration water and sediment characteristics of the river. In terms of consequence of open pyre burning, the preceding studies have focused mainly on physico-chemical parameters and pollution studies showing scarce studies on the implication of open pyre burning on the river environment. Thus, the present research has been proposed with the aim of assessing amount of fuelwood burnt, forest degraded, equivalent carbon emitted, and impact caused in the river environment due to open pyre burning. The findings of the study will be useful for planners, forest researchers, environmental scientists, and social scientists as well as rising public awareness about the socio-ecological implication of open pyre burning.

Disturbance and Restoration in Adjoining Forests of Lowland Protected Areas in Nepal

Principal Investigator: Prof. Chhatra Mani Sharma

Co-Investigator: Dr. Ramesh Prasad Sapkota

PhD Student: Prakash Timilsina

MSc Students: Sumit Gautam; Sushant Lamichhane

Duration: 30 months (Starting Ashad 2079 B.S.)

General objective

To study the effects of disturbances in adjoining forests of lowland protected areas in Nepal and to observe the effectiveness of passive restoration in those ecosystems.

Specific objectives

1. To determine the effects of anthropogenic disturbances in diversity, biomass and species richness of the vegetation.

2.To assess the gap dynamics of the dominant tree species and determine its effect on regeneration, dominance, and early vegetation growth.

3.To determine the effectiveness of passive restoration on regeneration of tree species and recommend suitable forest management strategies in lowland forest ecosystems.