Nepal's unique agricultural and wild biodiversity is threatened by socioeconomic and climate change. This project assesses biodiversity in several categories linked to agricultural resilience and sustainable pest control across an altitude transect in the Chitwan-Annapurna Landscape of central Nepal: crops, pests, pollinators, decomposers, and alien invasive species.
We will establish weather stations, conduct sampling, and undertake community surveys to provide data for spatial modeling of climate impacts on biodiversity. This spatial modeling will address how species and ecological interactions might be affected by ongoing and projected climate change. We will work at existing study sites whenever possible to build on existing data and local partnerships.
The research program will build technical capacity for applied biodiversity research in Nepal through a Scholar Training Program (STP) that will include collaborative student mentoring, technical workshops, and conferences. Based on the research results and on community and stakeholder consultations, we will carry out gender-sensitive education and technology transfer for increasing smallholder resilience to climate and other stressors via soil, water and nutrient conservation that promote biodiversity and flow of ecological services consistent with integrated pest management (IPM) principles. We will work with and foster village women's groups and cooperatives to catalyze sustainable rural economic development through a Women's Enterprise Program (WEP).
Our consortium is led by City University of New York (CUNY), includes Nepal Agriculture and Forestry University (AFU), Tribhuvan University (TU), and Ecological Services Centre (ECOSCENTRE), and is supported by other academic, agency, and nongovernmental partners. We draw on our extensive experience in Nepal and elsewhere with agricultural extension, pest management, and carrying out research and delivering rural technology-transfer training that catalyzes entrepreneurship.