Maria Solis Aulestia
Thesis: Land use dynamics in the Chure region of Nepal: Integrating biophysical, socio-economic and policy drivers.
Several policies and programs have been created in order to reduce degradation and loss of habitats in the Chure region, however they haven’t been always successful due to the scarce knowledge of the complexities created by social, political, economic and biophysical factors that originate these processes.
This research project aims to measure the physical changes in the Chure region for the last 36 years, as well as identify and quantify their driving forces, explaining the underlying biophysical (soil, slope, rainfall), socio-economic (population, income) and policy variables (allocation of protected areas, forest and agricultural policies) that encourage actions that result in changes in the landscape.
This study will be performed using remote sensing and GIS techniques, historical data analysis, in situ surveys and econometric models; and will allow understanding the natural and anthropogenic dimensions of ongoing land use change processes and forecasting land use patterns under different policies and environmental scenarios.
Why my research is important
The results of this study will reflect the actual changes that have taken place in the Chure region, and will identify the biophysical, socio-economic and policy drivers that have given a value to the land and have encouraged the land users to make choices about allocating land to alternative uses based on the highest rent. This information will allow predicting land use patterns under different biophysical and socio-economic scenarios; as well as assessing the impact of past and future activities in the environment and in the socio-economic contexts. This research project finally will prescribe “optimum” patterns of land use which would potentially satisfy specific objectives as well as environmental and socio-economic constrains.
This study could become the base for any social, conservation or development plan at a regional and micro scale while filling out the gap of information that constrains in the creation of successful development plans and policies in the Chure region of Nepal.