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Livestock depredation by snow leopards Panthera uncia poses a significant threat to the livelihoods of pastoral communities and engenders negative attitudes towards the species, threatening its survival. We conducted 104 semi-structured interviews within local communities (livestock herders and owners) in the Nyesyang valley of Manang District, in the Annapurna Conservation Area, western Nepal, to assess the status of livestock depredation and community attitudes towards snow leopards. During February 2016–January 2018, respondents reportedly lost 279 livestock to snow leopards (mean loss of 1.3 livestock per household), comprising 3.7% of the total stockholding in 2018. This loss amounts to a monetary loss of USD 319 per annum for each household. Only half of the households who lost livestock to snow leopards in the previous 2 years received compensation from the Conservation Area. Almost an equal proportion of respondents held positive (42%) and negative (41%) attitudes towards snow leopards. An ordered logistic regression analysis revealed that being a woman, being illiterate, owning a high number of large-bodied livestock and relying primarily on agropastoralism were factors associated significantly with negative attitudes towards snow leopards. We recommend focusing conservation education on illiterate community members and engaging more women in conservation programmes, along with a community-based insurance scheme for large-sized livestock to mitigate losses and improve local community attitudes towards snow leopards.
Following the report of the first COVID-19 case in Nepal on 23 January 2020, three major waves were documented between 2020 and 2021. By the end of July 2022, 986 596 cases of confirmed COVID-19 and 11 967 deaths had been reported and 70.5% of the population had received at least two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine. Prior to the pandemic, a large dengue virus (DENV) epidemic affected 68 out of 77 districts, with 17 932 cases and six deaths recorded in 2019. In contrast, the country's Epidemiology and Disease Control Division reported 530 and 540 dengue cases in the pandemic period (2020 and 2021), respectively. Furthermore, Kathmandu reported just 63 dengue cases during 2020 and 2021, significantly lower than the 1463 cases reported in 2019. Serological assay showed 3.2% positivity rates for anti-dengue immunoglobulin M antibodies during the pandemic period, contrasting with 26.9–40% prior to it. Real-time polymerase chain reaction for DENV showed a 0.5% positive rate during the COVID-19 pandemic which is far lower than the 57.0% recorded in 2019. Continuing analyses of dengue incidence and further strengthening of surveillance and collaboration at the regional and international levels are required to fully understand whether the reduction in dengue incidence/transmission were caused by movement restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the last decade the tiger Panthera tigris population in the Terai Arc Landscape and Himalayas has increased, while populations in other countries have remained below their conservation targets. Although there has been some research on tiger conservation in the Terai Arc Landscape and the Himalayas, scientists and managers have not catalogued and characterized tiger research in the region, with empirical findings scattered among disparate document types, journals and countries. Without a review of the tiger research in the Terai Arc Landscape and Himalayan region, it is difficult to analyse or change conservation policies, develop adaptation strategies, prioritize research, allocate resources or develop conservation strategies potentially employable elsewhere. We therefore conducted a systematic scoping review to identify focal research areas, the spatial and temporal distribution of study sites, general publication trends, the extent of empirical studies, and gaps in tiger conservation research in this region (which spans Bhutan, India and Nepal). Since 2000, 216 studies have been published on issues associated with tiger conservation in the Terai Arc Landscape and Himalayas, with an increasing number over time. Most empirical studies have focused on tiger habitat, ecology and conflicts in protected areas in the region's foothills. There are research gaps in high-altitude landscapes, social science investigations, conservation economics, and policy and institutional analyses.
Adolescents with depression need access to culturally relevant psychological treatment. In many low- and middle-income countries treatments are only accessible to a minority. We adapted group interpersonal therapy (IPT) for adolescents to be delivered through schools in Nepal. Here we report IPT's feasibility, acceptability, and cost.
We recruited 32 boys and 30 girls (aged 13–19) who screened positive for depression. IPT comprised of two individual and 12 group sessions facilitated by nurses or lay workers. Using a pre-post design we assessed adolescents at baseline, post-treatment (0–2 weeks after IPT), and follow-up (8–10 weeks after IPT). We measured depressive symptoms with the Depression Self-Rating Scale (DSRS), and functional impairment with a local tool. To assess intervention fidelity supervisors rated facilitators' IPT skills across 27/90 sessions using a standardised checklist. We conducted qualitative interviews with 16 adolescents and six facilitators post-intervention, and an activity-based cost analysis from the provider perspective.
Adolescents attended 82.3% (standard deviation 18.9) of group sessions. All were followed up. Depression and functional impairment improved between baseline and follow-up: DSRS score decreased by 81% (95% confidence interval 70–95); functional impairment decreased by 288% (249–351). In total, 95.3% of facilitator IPT skills were rated superior/satisfactory. Adolescents found the intervention useful and acceptable, although some had concerns about privacy in schools. The estimate of intervention unit cost was US $96.9 with facilitators operating at capacity.
School-based group IPT is feasible and acceptable in Nepal. Findings support progression to a randomised controlled trial to assess effectiveness and cost-effectiveness.
The chapter narrates the history of psychological assessment both in ancient and modern times highlighting how assessment is done in various settings in India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Bhutan. The region has unity in terms of sociocultural, political, historical, economic, and educational factors. In terms of diversity, South Asia is one of the most linguistically diverse areas in the world. However, English is used as a language for communication and education. Being developing nations, South Asian countries are influenced dominantly by Western culture. Though the region has its own tradition the Western thoughts and theories have significantly influenced South Asian academic and professional disciplines. Likewise, the psychology of the Western world has significantly dominated the region’s views and understanding of human behavior. This chapter begins by providing a brief account of assessment in the region during pre-colonialism. Following this the history of assessment in India is presented, followed by Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Bhutan is presented.
This article explores the role of the traditional Pang Lhabsol festival of Sikkim in India as a medium for political ascendancy and influence in the region – a phenomenon that has continued, albeit with different political inflections, from its founding days until the present. Since its emergence as an indigenous practice in the thirteenth century, it has consistently transformed according to each juncture of political realignment in the region. After 1642, the festival was redesigned to resonate with the religion and ideology of the ruling Namgyal dynasty, playing out negotiations between mainstream Buddhism and the animistic Bon religion. While the inclusion of the Pangtoed Chham dance performance in the ritualistic itinerary of Pang Lhabsol had very significantly reinforced the role of the king as the protector of the people and their faith, the festival has been considerably overshadowed by the inclusion of new elements that resonate with the secular narrative of India after 1975. The article identifies the significance of each of these new elements, drawing as well on audience research undertaken through in-depth interviews. Arkaprava Chattopadhyay is an Assistant Professor at the Shri Ramasamy Memorial University in Sikkim, as well as a doctoral candidate at the Central University of Sikkim.
The dataset introduced in this book includes thousands of Chinese government- financed development projects. This chapter begins to analyze these data at the cross-national level and addresses a basic question: Which types of projects does China finance around the world? We provide a detailed overview of the allocation of Chinese development finance based on key variables such as destination countries, flow types (such as grants, loans, technical assistance, debt forgiveness, or sectors). The dataset enables us to distinguish between Chinese-financed aid and debt, and this distinction reveals that China’s donor-to-banker shift occurred in the 2000s following the implementation of the “Going Out” strategy. More generally, this chapter uses our new dataset to demonstrate the value of separating out aid and debt projects and show how different countries have different experiences receiving Chinese projects. In providing readers with an aerial global view of the “known universe” of China’s international development finance projects since 2000, the chapter also situates China’s development finance in the context of that of other major donors.
Hearing loss is the third leading cause globally for ‘years lived with disability’. The majority of those affected live in low and middle-income countries.
This study used qualitative research methods to explore the impact of chronic ear disease on quality of life in Nepal. Twenty face-to-face semi-structured interviews were conducted during a visiting ear camp at the Britain Nepal Otology Service Ear Care Centre in Nepal. Interviews were recorded, transcribed and translated with thematic content analysis performed manually by two researchers.
Chronic ear disease has a significant impact on social interactions, emotional well-being and functionality. Barriers to surgery are cost, accessibility, reputation, gender and fear of complications.
This study provided valuable new insight into patient perspectives on living with chronic ear disease in Nepal. Patients with chronic ear disease experience discrimination and stigmatisation across all levels of personal, family and social life, with their function across all domains being directly limited by symptoms.
Enhanced-efficiency nitrogen (N) fertilizers (EENFs) such as slow-release polymer-coated urea (PCU) and deep placement of urea briquettes (UBs) improve nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) by reducing N losses and increasing nitrogen uptake by plants. Multilocation field trials (81) with cauliflower were conducted across two agroecological regions covering seven districts during two crop-growing seasons between 2018 and 2020 to assess the potential of three EENFs, i.e., PCU, sulphur-coated urea (SCU) and UB for increasing curd yields, agronomic NUE (AEN) and economic benefits over conventional urea (CU). Results were compared with farmers’ current nutrient management practice (FP): applying CU at 58.5 kg N ha−1 (ranging from 33 to 88 kg N ha−1). The N rates in three EENF treatments were 33% lower (100 kg N ha−1), considering their higher N use efficiency, than for CU (150 kg N ha−1). We hypothesize that EENFs produce similar or even higher yields compared with CU. For both years, all three EENFs resulted in significantly (p < 0.05) higher curd yields than CU (36.7 ± 1.1 t ha−1). PCU, SCU and UB increased yields by 21, 21 and 24% over those for CU. The yield increment was much higher (PCU, 44%; SCU, 43%; UB, 46%) than for FP. Similarly, PCU, SCU and UB increased the partial factor productivity of N (PFPN) by 91, 90 and 94% and the AEN by 133, 129 and 138%, respectively, compared with CU. The gross margins of all three EENFs were similar: an average 25% more than with CU and 51% more than with FP. These results suggest that EENFs could help increase productivity and farmer income while considerably reducing N input, compared to use of CU. The government of Nepal should promote these EENFs by removing barriers to access for the associated fertilizers and foster their use through extension.
Vegetation dynamics is a proxy indicator for environmental changes. The spatial and temporal evolution of the satellite derived normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) is a useful tool to identify environmental risk at large spatial scales. This study aimed to find the vegetation dynamics, land use and ecological risk in Nepal. The NDVI from different satellite products, land use land cover (LULC) change, human footprint pressure (HFP) and climate (i.e., temperature and precipitation) were analysed. The result showed that NDVI has significantly increased with greening in large areas. Spatially, the decreased NDVI was more noticeable in the Trans-Himalayan region. Meanwhile, the spatially averaged temperature has significantly increased at the rate of 0.03°C yr-1 and precipitation decreased by 3.94 mm yr-1 during 1982–2015. The rapid change in climate, land uses and vegetation can alter the ecosystem. The lower temperature in the mountains is a limiting factor for vegetation. Meanwhile, the high temperature in Terai and low precipitation in western and far western regions with lower VCI enhance dryness. Thus, these regions are ecologically fragile. This study of vegetation dynamics, land use, climates and HFP indicates the level of ecological risk in Nepal.
Protected areas (PAs) are critical for achieving conservation, economic and development goals, but the factors that lead households to engage in prohibited resource collection in PAs are not well understood. We examine collection behaviours in community forests and the protected Chitwan National Park in Chitwan, Nepal. Our approach incorporates household and ecological data, including structured interviews, spatially explicit data on collection behaviours measured with computer tablets and a systematic field survey of invasive species. We pair our data with a framework that considers factors related to a household’s demand for resources, barriers to prohibited resource collection, barriers to legal resource collection and alternatives to resource collection. The analysis identifies key drivers of prohibited collection, including sociodemographic variables and perceptions of an invasive plant (Mikania micrantha). The social-ecological systems approach reveals that household perceptions of the presence of M. micrantha were more strongly associated with resource collection decisions than the actual ecologically measured presence of the plant. We explore the policy implications of our findings for PAs and propose that employing a social-ecological systems approach leads to conservation policy and scientific insights that are not possible to achieve with social or ecological approaches alone.
Marriage during childhood and adolescence adversely affects maternal and child health and well-being, making it a critical global health issue. Analysis of factors associated with women marrying ≥18 years has limited utility in societies where the norm is to marry substantially earlier. This paper investigated how much education Nepali women needed to delay marriage across the range of ages from 15 to ≥18 years. Data on 6,406 women aged 23-30 years were analysed from the Low Birth Weight South Asia Trial on the early-marrying and low-educated Maithili-speaking Madhesi population in Terai, Nepal. Multivariable logistic regression models assessed the associations of women’s education with marrying aged ≥15, ≥16, ≥17 and ≥18 years. Cox proportional hazards regression models quantified the hazard of marrying. Models adjusted for caste affiliation. Women married at median age of 15 years and three-quarters were uneducated. Women’s primary and lower-secondary education were weakly associated with delaying marriage, whether the cut-off to define early marriage was 15, 16, 17 or 18 years, with stronger associations for secondary education. Caste associations were weak. Overall, models explained relatively little of the variance in the likelihood of marriage at different ages. The joint effects of lower-secondary and higher caste affiliation and of secondary/higher education and mid and higher caste affiliation reduced the hazard of marrying. In early-marrying and low-educated societies, changing caste-based norms are unlikely to delay women’s marriage. Research on broader risk factors and norms that are more relevant for delaying marriage in these contexts is needed. Gradual increases in women’s median marriage age and increased secondary education may, over time, reduce child and adolescent marriage.
Peter Matthiessen’s The Snow Leopard (1978) is the best-known Western Buddhist travel narrative and the classic text that for most readers defines the genre. This chapter explores Matthiessen’s account of his two-month trip to Nepal to search for Himalayan blue sheep and the rare snow leopard, mourn his wife’s death, search for a spiritual guide, and practice Buddhist mindfulness and compassion. He describes several incidents of unselfing as well as his frustration in persisting in this longed-for state of being. Matthiessen’s later Nine-Headed Dragon River describes his shift from Rinzai to Soto Zen and culminates in a pilgrimage to Zen monasteries in Japan. He examines how the student–teacher relationship calls for submission of the ego. He presents transformation as an aspect of individual experience as well as the process by which Zen changed as it moved from China to Japan to America. In Nine-Headed Dragon River, the meaning of no-self is no longer a state to be achieved in a dramatic moment but rather offers a crucial perspective from which to understand his relationship to his Zen master and Zen’s journey through various cultures.
Nepal female community health volunteers (FCHVs) were the first available health personnel in communities during the 2015 Nepal earthquakes. This study explored the facilitating factors and barriers of the FCHVs during health emergencies.
In-depth interviews with 24 FCHVs and 4 health managers from 2 districts in Nepal (Gorkha and Sindhupalchowk) were conducted using semi-structured interview guides. The qualitative data were analyzed using thematic analysis methods.
FCHVs were the first responders to provide services after the earthquakes and were well accepted by the local communities. Different models of supervision existed, and differences in the workload and remuneration offered to FCHVs were described. A wide range of disaster-related knowledge and skills were required by FCHVs, and lack of prior training was an issue for some respondents. Furthermore, lack of access to adequate medical supplies was a major barrier for FCHVs in the 2015 earthquakes. The 5 identified themes were discussed.
Providing regular disaster response training for FCHVs and strong leadership from the public sector with sustained investments will be essential for increasing the capacities of community health workforces to prepare for and reduce the impacts of future health emergencies in resource-poor settings.
This chapter examines the contested concept of constitutional identity in the comparative constitutional law literature and situates it in the specific jurisdictional context of Nepal. In particular, the analysis concentrates on the foundational function of constitutions and explores the relationship between constitutionalism, identity politics, and constitutional design. Nepal is an ideal case study for exploring the notion of constitutional identity because it sits uneasily within the traditional taxonomies used in the discipline. For instance, Nepal is the only South Asian country that was never colonised and whose legal system does not operate in English, but in the country’s national language, Nepali. This unusual level of historical continuity in the process of nation-building has complicated the construction of constitutional identity, as demonstrated by the embattled historical relationship between the Shah-centered “national monarchy” and democracy, the enduring and controversial position of Hinduism in the constitutional framework, and the patterns of legal discrimination on the basis of identity that persist in the new 2015 constitution.
The most critical period for brain development is before a child’s second birthday. Standardised tests measuring neurodevelopment are more reliable when administered after this period. Severe vitamin B12 deficiency affects brain development and function. In a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in 600 Nepalese infants (6–11 months at enrolment), we found no effect of 2 µg vitamin B12 daily for a year on neurodevelopment. The primary objective of the current study was to measure the effect of the intervention on the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence (WPPSI-IV) full scale intelligence quotient (FSIQ). We measured the effect on the Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development 3rd edition at age 30–35 months (n 555). At age 42–47 months (n 533), we used the WPPSI-IV and subtests from the Neuropsychological Assessment, 2nd edition (NEPSY-II). We also used the FSIQ to estimate subgroup specific effects. The mean (sd) WPPSI-IV FSIQ in the vitamin B12 group was 84·4 (8·4) and 85·0 (8·6) in the placebo group (mean difference −0·5 (95 % CI -1·97, 0·94), P = 0·48). There were no effect of the vitamin B12 on any of the other neurodevelopmental outcomes and no beneficial effect in any of the subgroups. In conclusion, providing 2 µg of vitamin B12 for a year in infants at risk of vitamin B12 deficiency does not improve preschool cognitive function.
Stigma related to mental disorders is a barrier to quality mental healthcare. This scoping review aimed to synthesise literature on stigma related to mental disorders in Nepal to understand stigma processes. The anthropological concept of ‘what matters most’ to understand culture and stigma was used to frame the literature on explanatory models, manifestations, consequences, structural facilitators and mitigators, and interventions.
We conducted a scoping review with screening guided by the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-analysis Extension for Scoping Reviews (PRISMA-ScR). A structured search was done using three international databases (PsycINFO, Medline and Web of Science), one Nepali database (NepJol) and cross-referencing for publications from 1 January 2000 through 24 June 2020. The search was repeated to include structural stigma-related terms. Quality of quantitative studies was assessed using the Systematic Assessment of Quality in Observational Research (SAQOR) tool. The review was registered through the Open Science Framework (OSF) (osf.io/u8jhn).
The searches yielded 57 studies over a 20-year period: 19 quantitative, 19 qualitative, nine mixed methods, five review articles, two ethnographies and three other types of studies. The review identified nine stigma measures used in Nepal, one stigma intervention, and no studies focused on adolescent and child mental health stigma. The findings suggest that ‘what matters most’ in Nepali culture for service users, caregivers, community members and health workers include prestige, productivity, privacy, acceptance, marriage and resources. Cultural values related to ‘what matters most’ are reflected in structural barriers and facilitators including lack of policies, programme planning and resources. Most studies using quantitative tools to assess stigma did not describe cultural adaptation or validation processes, and 15 out of the 18 quantitative studies were ‘low-quality’ on the SAQOR quality rating. The review revealed clear gaps in implementation and evaluation of stigma interventions in Nepal with only one intervention reported, and most stigma measures not culturally adapted for use.
As stigma processes are complex and interlinked in their influence on ‘what matters most’ and structural barriers and facilitators, more studies are required to understand this complexity and establish effective interventions targeting multiple domains. We suggest that stigma researchers should clarify conceptual models to inform study design and interpretations. There is a need to develop procedures for the systematic cultural adaptation of stigma assessment tools. Research should be conducted to understand the forms and drivers of structural stigma and to expand intervention research to evaluate strategies for stigma reduction.
Tropical montane systems are characterized by a high plant species diversity and complex environmental gradients. Climate warming may force species to track suitable climatic conditions and shift their distribution upward, which may be particularly problematic for species with narrow elevational ranges. To better understand the fate of montane plant species in the face of climate change, we evaluated a) which environmental factors best predict the distribution of 277 plant species along the Himalayan elevational gradient in Nepal, and b) whether species elevational ranges increase with increasing elevation. To this end, we developed ecological niche models using MaxEnt by combining species survey and presence data with 19 environmental predictors. Key environmental factors that best predicted the distribution of Himalayan plant species were mean annual temperature (for 54.5% of the species) followed by soil clay content (10.2%) and slope (9.4%). Although temperature is the best predictor, it is associated with many other covariates that may explain species distribution, such as irradiance and potential evapotranspiration. Species at both ends of the Himalayan elevational gradient had narrower elevational ranges than species in the middle. Our results suggest that with further global warming, most Himalayan plant species have to migrate upward, which is especially critical for upland species with narrow distribution ranges.
The Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) (CPN-M), an organized armed group, engaged in a non-international armed conflict against the Government of Nepal between 1996 and 2006. During the armed conflict, the organized armed group operated a judicial system in the territories under its effective control, called the Jana Adalat (the People's Court). The legitimacy of the Jana Adalat has been a contentious subject matter. This article examines the historical, legal and practical dimensions of the Jana Adalat, especially focusing on the perspectives of the CPN-M.