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Message from the SANDEE Secretariat

Dear friends,

Greetings from the SANDEE Secretariat and happy new year 2022!

With the pandemic showing no signs of easing, we were compelled to organize our meetings and workshops online over the past two years, including the four research and training (RnT) workshops (39th–42nd). During this period, 15 researchers successfully completed their SANDEE funded research and SANDEE made 19 new research grants through competitive process, over half of which had women principal investigators. Six of the research projects are related to a thematic area under the economics of forest restoration and are being undertaken in five countries. We also called for proposals for the first-ever SANDEE grant to researchers from Afghanistan, China, and Myanmar, three newly added countries in our service area. This establishes SANDEE’s footprint in all 10 countries from South Asia and the Hindu Kush Himalaya region – an achievement about which we feel especially proud given the unexpected challenges of the last couple years of pandemic.

As a part of the SANDEE-ICIMOD Lecture Series, we organized two high-level public lectures in 2021: Sir Partha Dasgupta on “The Economics of Biodiversity: The Dasgupta Review” (July 2021) and Prof. Jeff Vincent on “Restoring Global Forests: Opportunities & Challenges” (December 2021). These virtual events were attended by hundreds from across the world. Despite difficulties, our researchers continued to make excellent progress in their research and several of them organized in-person dissemination workshops inviting relevant stakeholders. SANDEEites have been publishing in highly visible international peer-reviewed journals, and the network produced over 25 peer-reviewed articles in 2021.

Another milestone was the publication of our edited volume “Climate Change and Community Resilience: Insights from South Asia” by Springer Nature, comprising 27 research papers on climate change adaptation stories from across South Asia. The open access book was jointly launched by Sir Partha Dasgupta, University of Cambridge, and Basanta Raj Shrestha, ICIMOD, on 22 October. SANDEE dedicated this open access volume to late Prof. Karl-Goran Mäler, who was one of our co-founders and mentors.

SANDEE started developing an additional workstream in addition to the usual capacity-building activities. Under this strategy, we completed the Cities and Climate Change research in Bangladesh and Nepal. From 2022, we will start a new research project on understanding the Economics of Forest Restoration in four countries: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, and Pakistan.

SANDEE bid farewell to its long-time programme associate Neesha Pradhan and welcomed Manashree Newa in the position. During the transition, we continued to function with excellent support from Bhawana Syangden and Rekha Thapa. During these difficult times, we have received invaluable support from our resource persons, reviewers, researchers, funding partners, and well-wishers. You all are our constant source of inspiration and the SANDEE Secretariat would like to salute you all!
Mani Nepal
Programme Coordinator
On behalf of the SANDEE Secretariat

Researchers in focus

Our researchers and alumni talk about their personal journey with SANDEE and their association with the network. Read the full accounts here.

“SANDEE advisors and resource persons have helped shape my passion in the field of environmental valuation towards more concrete actionable ideas.”

Chandan Singha
Associate Professor, Hindu College,
University of Delhi, India

“With every interaction with the SANDEE community, I am gaining confidence.”

Chogyel Wangmo
Lecturer, Department of Environment and Climate Studies,
College of Natural Resources, Royal University of Bhutan, Bhutan

“SANDEE provides a mechanism of bringing together researchers − both young and experienced − into a forum of lively discussions.”

DVP Prasada
Professor, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka

“The SANDEE approved project has come as a whole package including funding, training, mentorship, and opportunities for frequent interactions with experts and researchers in environmental economics.”

Lubna Naz

Assistant Professor - Economics, Institute of Business Administration Karachi, Pakistan

“I have learned from SANDEE reviewers that a good storyline is crucial to prepare an outstanding research proposal.”

Md. Shafiqul Bari

Professor, Department of Agroforestry and Environment, Hajee Mohammad Danesh Science and Technology University, Bangladesh

“The grant provided me the opportunity to network with expert professionals from around the world.”

Sony Baral

Associate Professor, Institute of Forestry,
Kathmandu, Nepal

“My experience with the SANDEE community has made me realize the significance of balancing theoretical knowledge and real-life applications while doing research.”

Yarzar Hein

Associate Professor of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Yezin Agricultural University, Myanmar

“SANDEE has greatly contributed to developing my research capacity, as well as having connected me with many scholars from South Asia and other parts of the world.”

Yuanyuan Yi

Research Assistant Professor, National School of Development, Peking University, Beijing, China

Read more

Recent grants

SANDEE has approved 19 grants since 2020, where female grantees outnumber male grantees (10 female, 9 male). Below are some of the research grants approved recently, along with names of the researchers.

Water stress-induced migration in Nepal
Menuka Maharjan, Associate Professor, Institute of Forestry, Tribhuvan University, Nepal

Evaluating the Climate Resilient Agricultural Practices by the Farmers: Empirical evidence from India and Nepal
Sabina Yasmin, Research Fellow, LEAD, Krea University, India

Tenurial contracts, women participation and reforestation in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), Pakistan
Nasir Iqbal, Associate Professor, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE), Pakistan

A Comparative Assessment of Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) and Community Action using Norms
Thiagu Ranganathan, Associate Professor, Centre for Development Studies (CDS), India

Read more

Dissemination workshops

SANDEE researchers organize dissemination workshops to share their research findings and communicate it with relevant stakeholders and policymakers. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, several of the in-person dissemination workshops were delayed.

Mani Nepal, SANDEE Programme Coordinator, shared the key results from the Cities and Climate Change research with graduate economics students at Duke University, USA.

Watch the full lecture

The Sushil Koirala Memorial Foundation organized a public event on 10 April 2021, where Mani Nepal was invited to discuss contemporary environmental issues in South Asia.

Watch the full video

SANDEE organized a dissemination workshop for its project ‘Apple production under climate change: Willingness to pay for weather indexed insurance’ at CSIR-Institute of Bioresource Technology Palampur, Himachal Pradesh, India on 16 October 2021. Pawan Kumar Sharma, Scientist (Agri. Economics) and principal investigator presented on the project detailing its rationale, preliminary research findings, future plans, and outcomes.

The Central Department of Economics, Tribhuvan University organized a dissemination seminar on 27 November 2021 on its recently completed study ‘Natural Disaster and Assets Recovery: Empirical Evidence from Nepal’s Earthquake.’ The principal investigator, Nirmal Kumar Raut, Associate Professor at Tribhuvan University completed this study with a research grant provided by SANDEE.

SANDEE events of 2021

Launch of the book “Climate Change and Community Resilience”

One of the highlights of 2021 was the publication and launch of our book – ‘Climate Change and Community Resilience’ with 65+ co-authors and contributors. This open access book published by Springer Nature (Singapore) contains 29 chapters documenting the myriad of ways community-based climate change adaptation and resilience programmes being implemented in South Asian countries. At a time when climate change presents humanity with a gloomy future, the stories of innovation, creativity, grassroots engagement, and locally applicable solutions highlighted in this book provides insights into the hopeful ways of approaching climate solutions. Learn more about the launch event.
Research methods in environmental and natural resource economics using R

In collaboration with East West University and Goa University, we organized a week-long training workshop on Research Methods in Environmental Economics Using R in May 2021. Over 35 researchers from across the region attended the hands-on training that familiarized researchers with the practical and theoretical aspects, and techniques for conducting research in environmental economics. Vikram Dayal, Professor, Institute of Economic Growth, Delhi was the main faculty member for the workshop and was assisted by Heena Gaude, Assistant professor at Goa Business School, Goa University. Other resource persons include AK Enamul Haque, Professor, East West University, Pranab Mukhopadhyay, Professor, Goa University, and Mani Nepal, Programme Coordinator, SANDEE.
40th, 41st and 42nd RnT virtual workshops

As a part of its research capacity and leadership development programme, SANDEE organizes research and training (RnT) workshops twice a year for making research grants and mentoring and providing technical support to the grantees by a group extremely dedicated faculty advisors and experts. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been organizing all our events virtually, including the flagship RnT workshops. During these RnT workshops, we also organized two public lectures by Sir Partha Dasgupta on “The Economics of Biodiversity: The Dasgupta Review” (July 2021) and Prof. Jeff Vincent on “Restoring Global Forests: Opportunities & Challenges” (December 2021) under the ‘SANDEE-ICIMOD lecture series’ both of which received overwhelming response from the audience.
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Sir Partha Dasgupta awarded the Kew International Medal 2021

Sir Partha Dasgupta, co-founder of SANDEE, was awarded the prestigious Kew International Medal 2021 for his work to protect nature and stop biodiversity loss. The award follows the publication of the global independent review on "The Economics of Biodiversity: The Dasgupta Review", led by Professor Dasgupta, and published by the UK Treasury in February 2021. SANDEE also organized a brown bag event discussing the contribution of The Dasgupta Review and its implication for mountain biodiversity in the HKH region, in particular.
Read news
Joyashree Roy awarded the 2021 Breakthrough Paradigm Award

Joyashree Roy, Bangabandhu Chair Professor at the Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand, and SANDEE Fellow was awarded the 2021 Paradigm Award by the Breakthrough Institute for her work on efficiency rebound in emerging economies. The Paradigm Award recognizes the accomplishments and leadership in the effort to make the future secure, free, prosperous, and fulfilling for all the world’s inhabitants on an ecologically vibrant planet. Roy is one of the world’s leading scholars on the role of energy in driving socioeconomic development, and one of the coordinating lead authors of the IPCC WGIII (Chapter 5 on Demand, services and social aspects of mitigation).
Read news
SANDEE contributes to curriculum development for an M.Sc. course at Pokhara University, Nepal

Pokhara University designed a new curriculum for the Master of Science in Environment and Climate Change in 2021. SANDEE has played a major role in its curriculum development and led one of the courses – Climate Change Economics and Finance.

Highlights from the SANDEE network

Congratulations to the following SANDEEites for their academic and career successes in various fields!

Jeffrey R Vincent, one of the SANDEE advisors and Korstian Distinguished Professor in Forest Economics and Management in the Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences, was appointed Chair of the Environmental Science and Policy Division, Duke University, USA.

Khin Thida Nyein, alumni of the research and writing workshop and environmental and energy economics workshop, was appointed Pro-Rector, Yangon University of Economics, Myanmar.

Atonu Rabbani, former grantee and one of the SANDEE technical committee members, was appointed the Mushtaque Chowdhury Chair Professor in Health and Poverty, BRAC James P Grant School of Public Health, BRAC University, Bangladesh.

A. V. Manjunatha, SANDEE grantee, was appointed Director of Karnataka Evaluation Authority in Planning division of Programme Monitoring and Statistics Department at Government of Karnataka, India

Congratulations to Ngawang Dendup, SANDEE grantee and summer school alumni, and Shishir Shakya, summer school alumni on successfully completing your PhD!

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Featured publications

Incentives for corporate social responsibility in India: Mandate, peer pressure and crowding-out effects

Sangeeta Bansal, Madhu Khanna, Joseph Sydlowski

Read More

Returns to grid electricity on firewood and kerosene: Mechanism

Ngawang Dendup

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An incentive-based mitigation strategy to encourage coexistence of large mammals and humans along the foothills of Indian Western Himalayas

Ruchi Badola, Tanveer Ahmed, Amanat Kaur Gill, Pariva Dobriyal, Goura Chandra Das, Srishti Badola, Syed Ainul Hussain

Read More
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The South Asian Network for Development and Environmental Economics (SANDEE) brings together researchers and decision-makers from South Asia and the HKH region to address development-environment challenges. SANDEE's mission is to strengthen the ability of researchers to undertake multi-disciplinary research on the economics of environmental and natural resource problems.

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