Nepal Journal of Environmental Science <p>The Nepal Journal of Environmental Science is published by the Central Department of Environmental Science, Tribhuvan University, Kirtipur, Nepal</p> Central Department of Environmental Science, Tribhuvan University en-US Nepal Journal of Environmental Science 2350-8647 <p>© Central Department of Environmental Statistics, Tribhuvan University</p> Wildfire Dynamics in Nepal from 2000-2016 <p>Increasing trends of wildfire in recent year has become a serious concern across the world. However, in the Nepalese context, there seem limited studies carried out in connection to wildfires. Thus, the present research was objectively carried out to find out the trends, compare the wildfire incidence, burnt area, burning days and density of wildfire in the period before 2016 (2000-2015) and 2016. For the purpose, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spector-Radiometer (MODIS) satellite images of Nepal were archived and literatures related to wildfires were collected from various sources. The burnt areas were calculated and wildfire incidences were counted in the image using ArcGIS. The wildfire events of before and during 2016 were compared by using excel program. The result showed wildfire incidence and burnt area are in increasing trends over the 17 years. The wildfire incidences were higher (around 33%) in 2016 in compared to the annual average incidences from 2000 to 2015. Similarly, there seems 42% more burnt areas in 2016 as compared to period from 2000 to 2015. Moreover, there seem 38 average annual wildfire days during the period from 2000-2015; however 40 wildfire days were recorded in 2016 adding two more days. The pre-monsoon period was found highly prone to wildfire incidence than the other seasons. The wildfire density showed around 0.09 incidence and 3.4 hectares burnt area per square km in 2016 which was only 0.03 incidences with 1.4 ha burnt area per km<sup>2</sup> during 2000-2015. The highest density of wildfire was recorded to be nearly 0.16 incidences with 6.4 ha burnt area per km<sup>2</sup> in 2016 in Tarai region. The findings will be helpful tool to wildfire ecology, wildfire managers and policy makers.</p> Krishna Bahadur Bhujel Rejina Maskey-Byanju Ambika P. Gautam ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2017-12-04 2017-12-04 5 1 8 10.3126/njes.v5i0.22709 Parasitic infection in blackbuck (Antilope cervicapra Linnaeus, 1758) of Blackbuck Conservation Area, Bardiya and Shuklaphanta Wildlife Reserve, Kanchanpur, Western Nepal <p>Blackbuck (<em>Antilope cervicapra</em>) is Near Threatened species which are conserved in blackbuck Conservation Area (BCA), Khairapur, Bardiya and Shuklaphanta Wildlife Reserve (SWR), Kanchanpur district. The present study was conducted to determine the parasitic infection in blackbuck of BCA and SWR. A total of 150 and 70 fresh faecal samples of blackbuck were collected from BCA and SWR respectively and examined by floatation, sedimentation and Stoll's counting technique. The overall prevalence of GI parasites was found to be 90.00%. The protozoan and helminthic parasitic prevalence revealed 55% and 89% respectively in both the study area. Blackbuck of BCA were found to be infected with 12 different species of parasites which includes <em>Entamoeba </em>sp. (20%) and <em>Eimeria </em>sp. (45.33%) among protozoa; <em>Paramphistomum </em>sp. (25.33%) and <em>Fasciola </em>sp. (17.33%) among trematodes; <em>Moniezia </em>sp. (14%) among cestode; <em>Trichostrongylus </em>sp. (75.33%), <em>Ascaris </em>sp. (57.33%), <em>Haemonchus </em>sp. (18%), <em>Strongyloides </em>sp. (16%), <em>Bunostomum </em>sp. (12.67%), <em>Trichuris </em>sp. (6%) and <em>Oxyuris </em>sp. (4.67%) among nematodes; while blackbuck of SWR were found to be infected with 10 different parasitic genera, i.e. <em>Entamoeba </em>sp. (8.57%) and <em>Eimeria </em>sp. (51.43%) among protozoa; <em>Paramphistomum </em>sp. (38.57%), <em>Fasciola </em>sp. (21.43%) and <em>Schistosoma </em>sp. (7.14%) among trematodes; <em>Trichostrongylus </em>sp. (55.71%), <em>Ascaris </em>sp. (38.57%), <em>Haemonchus </em>sp. (14.28%), <em>Strongyloides </em>sp. (12.86%) and <em>Bunostomum </em>sp. (2.86%) among nematodes. The present findings provide some baseline information on the parasitic burden in Blackbuck and help to formulate appropriate strategies to mitigate the endoparasitic problem of blackbuck in SWR and BCA.</p> Ram Bahadur Chaudhary Mahendra Maharjan ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2017-12-04 2017-12-04 5 9 17 10.3126/njes.v5i0.22710 Sustainability of rainwater harvesting system for the domestic needs: A case of Daugha Village Development Committee, Gulmi, Nepal <p>Rainwater Harvesting (RWH) system for the domestic needs in Daugha Village Development Committee (VDC), after its installation in 1996, has become a “<em>unique water culture</em>” with altogether 1,238 water harvesting jars and storage tanks of varied sizes at present in 663 households. The paper presents the sustainability of the RWH implemented 18 years back at the household level of Daugha VDC, Gulmi District. Various participatory tools like household interviews, key informant’s interviews and field observation along with water quality test of the stored water were carried out. The sustainability of the rainwater harvesting system was assessed based on the four key sustainability dimensions- Technical, Socio-environmental, Institutional and Cost recovery. The core factors and sub-factors were given weightage following the Multi Criteria Analysis (MCA) method. Daugha community has accepted RWH as an appropriate and effective alternative to meet the domestic water demand making the systems life savior, where water drudgery was at the peak and mostly women and children shared the responsibility of water management. On an average, 6.35 hours per family per day is saved because of installed RWH system in their homestead which is being utilized in some economic, social and child-care activities by the women. However, the best utilization of saved time for economic growth through various Income Generating Activities (IGAs) and mobilization of local funds to improve income level of the people seems lacking. Similarly, capacity and skills of local people to upgrade and improve their RWH systems have been observed as a gap. RWH systems have imparted very positive effect on sanitation and hygiene front. Significant progress was seen in terms of construction and use of toilets, increased knowledge about the importance of sanitation and hygiene issues, and changes in sanitation and hygiene behavior in the communities. This has resulted in decrease of water borne and water washed diseases recorded in the local sub-health post. These indicators portray the strong technical and socio-environmental acceptance of the system. In contrast to this, the study revealed that institutional and cost-recovery dimensions of sustainability are weaker, which pulls overall sustainability of RWH system under “sustained but at risk” when compared to sustainability ranking practiced by WaterAid.</p> R. Dongol R.C. Bohora S.R. Chalise ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2017-12-04 2017-12-04 5 19 25 10.3126/njes.v5i0.22711 Physicochemical characteristics of forest soils in Tarai and Siwalik regions of Nepal <p>Soils are important components of every terrestrial ecosystem. In Nepal, terrestrial ecosystems of Tarai and Siwalik regions are highly vulnerable due to intense anthropogenic disturbances. Forest depletion and land degradation have posed substantial impacts on soil quality. This review paper focuses on identifying the status of physical and chemical characteristics of forest soils in Tarai and Siwalik regions. For the purpose, published articles from various sources, as well as publications of Government of Nepal were reviewed. The study showed variation in physicochemical characteristics of soils in different regions. The land areas covered with vegetation were found effective in controlling erosion and consequently retention of important chemical properties of soils. The scientific studies on soil physical, chemical and biological quality seem inadequate. Standard research framework and sampling designs are required in future studies, so that comparisons on soil properties across different degraded and/or other land-use categories can be made. There is need of development of scientific database on soil quality for supporting future ecosystem management and restoration programs.</p> Ramesh P. Sapkota Peter D. Stahl Kedar Rijal ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2017-12-04 2017-12-04 5 27 33 10.3126/njes.v5i0.22712 Periglacial environment in Nepal Himalaya: Present contexts and future prospects <p>Periglacial environment in the Nepal Himalaya (80°04’ to 88°12’ E longitude and 26°22’ to 30°27’ N latitude) is a research field that has received a little scientific attention although the first reported periglacial research was in 1958. After the first periglacial research, only 22 studies are reported in Nepal (area: 147,181 km<sup>2</sup>), most of which is carried out by researchers outside the country. Studies mainly focus on periglacial landforms and determining the lower limit of the mountain permafrost. The mean lower limit of permafrost (LLP) and the size of rock glaciers indicate a decreasing trend of the permafrost limit from the eastern (5239 m a.s.l.) to the western part of Nepal (4513 m a.s.l.). The rate of change in the LLP in response to climate change in Nepal Himalaya is 1.3–2.6 m/yr. Model on the scenario of permafrost change based on the IPCC climate scenarios shows that the LLP would rise by 188 m between 2009 and 2039 with the rise in temperature. The periglacial landforms, like vegetated patterned ground (earth hummocks, turf banked terraces), sorted polygons, sorted stripes, solifluction lobes, striated ground, and rock glaciers are reported from the Nepal Himalaya. The spatial and temporal coverage of periglacial research in Nepal Himalaya is very low. The arena of periglacial researches, like permafrost distribution modelling, periglacial hazards, periglacial ecology, relationships between permafrost and rangeland, and implication on mountain livelihood, global warming and periglacial change are the potential areas of research in the coming days.</p> Raju Chauhan Sudeep Thakuri ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2017-12-04 2017-12-04 5 35 40 10.3126/njes.v5i0.22713 Biogas production for organic waste management: a case study of canteen’s organic waste in Solid Waste Management Technical Support Center, Lalitpur, Nepal <p>Management of solid waste is one of the major challenges faced by the municipalities. Solid waste mainly comprises of organic waste. Proper management of organic waste helps minimize solid waste problem. This study was carried out to assess the production of biogas from canteen’s organic waste as a solution for management of organic waste in Solid Waste Management Technical Support Centre, Lalitpur using innovative urban biogas plant with capacity 1,275 liters for 48 days. The physicochemical parameters of canteen’s waste and bio-slurry were analyzed. Similarly, volume of biogas, volume of methane and carbon dioxide in biogas produced were measured and CO2 reduction from biogas plant was identified. The average values of physicochemical parameters of canteen’s waste lied within the optimum range for biogas production. The biogas plant produced 22.03 liters/kg of waste and 120.47 liters/day of biogas. The produced biogas contained 48.89% methane and 39.11% carbon dioxide on average. The biogas plant could reduce 3.20 tones of CO2 equivalent per annum from 262.50 kg of waste fed for 48 days. The values of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium of bio-slurry indicated it as a better fertilizer. Shapiro-Wilk test showed that the p-value of collected data were greater than 0.05 indicating normal distribution. Linear regression between ambient temperature and biogas production showed that the p-value less than 0.05 indicating significant relationship between them (r<sup>2</sup>=0.08). The estimated return period of the invested money was 9.5 months in kerosene substitution or 9.7 months in firewood substitution or 9.5 months in LPG substitution. Similarly, the estimated average rate of return was 125.26% in kerosene substitution or 123.72% in firewood substitution or 125.01% in LPG substitution. These results indicated that biogas production using innovative urban biogas plant is better solution for organic waste management. Further extensive and large scale research need to be carried out for the optimization of the biogas plant.</p> S. Shrestha N.P. Chaulagain K.R. Shrestha ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2017-12-04 2017-12-04 5 41 47 10.3126/njes.v5i0.22714 Economic impact analysis of current climate change variability and future impacts in agricultural sector of Nepal <p>Nepal’s economy is largely based on agriculture, predominantly small-scale farming, and about half of which is dependent on natural rainfall. In Nepal, agriculture is a highly climate sensitive sector. Historically, the sector has been affected by floods, droughts and erratic rainfall. This study focused on the impacts and economic costs of climate change in agriculture and assessed perceptions of communities of Kaski and Mustang districts on frequency and intensity of hailstorm events over time including their related impacts. Scenario-based impact assessment was used for assessment of long-term impacts and economic costs of climate change. The study used Decision Support System for Agro-technology Transfer (DSSAT) model to analyze the effects of climate on three major crops, namely rice, maize and wheat. The economic loss due to the impacts of climate change in cereals (rice, maize and wheat) was estimated at around US$ 336.42 million in the year 2006. Among the respondents, 60% reported food shortages which made them highly vulnerable due to climate variability. Similarly, 80% of the respondents mentioned that 20 major hailstorm events have occurred in the vicinity of their communities over the last 35 years (up to 2012) and have caused significant damage to crop production, livestock and infrastructure. DesInventar database reported damage of 75% to 100% of the key crops. Crop yield projections indicate a complex mix of increases and decreases in yield which vary over time (in projections in 2030 AD and 2070 AD) and by location (east to west/Terai to Mountains). In the 2030s, there is a net increase in production and values; however, by the 2070s, the impact in agricultural production is expected to reach to US$ 140 million/year (2014). In terms of research, there are priorities around further work to understand climate uncertainty, the indirect economic costs of these impacts, and early research priorities to address long-term challenges. There is an urgent need to build capacity, with information and awareness raising, monitoring, research, and institutional strengthening.</p> D.C. Devkota K.R. Gosai D. Devkota ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2017-12-04 2017-12-04 5 49 56 10.3126/njes.v5i0.22715 The knowledge and behavior levels of the students taking disaster awareness training: The example of Tekirda province, Turkey <p>The aim of this study is to determine the knowledge, skill and behavior levels of the individuals, suffering from a disaster, in terms of issues such as survival, finding a safe place, evacuation, first aid, and search and operations as of the first hours following the disaster. Within this scope, 128 students taking disaster awareness training in Vocational School of Health Services in Namık Kemal University of Turkey agreed to participate in this study. The data collection form was prepared by using the preceding studies in literature. The data were analyzed with “SPSS for Windows 15.0”' package program. Variance analysis, student’s t-test, chi-square test and Pearson correlation test were performed for statistical analyses. The results in which P values were p&lt;0.05 were regarded as statistically meaningful. In this study, it was also analyzed whether there is a relationship between knowledge levels and behavior levels of students in operational issues of disasters or not. In the correlation analysis conducted in this regard, a very strong positive linear relationship was found between the knowledge levels and behavior levels of students (r= 0.762, p &lt;0.001). Education is crucial in providing information to individuals and turning these information into behaviors. The disasters and emergency cases depend upon human behaviors. The disaster awareness trainings and the formation of desired behavior in human beings are shaped on the basis of this. The standards for disaster trainings should be set, and trainings should be provided starting from the earlier ages. Various simulation units should be utilized to improve the persistency of the training content, and trainings should be provided by disaster units. The result shows that the individuals who took disaster training were more effective in determining behavior patterns to be developed during and after disasters.</p> Meliksah Turan Yücel Bulut Göksel Öztürk Zekiye Göktekin ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2017-12-04 2017-12-04 5 57 60 10.3126/njes.v5i0.22716 Performance of hybrid solar-biomass dryer <p>Drying of agriculture product is energy intensive and traditional open sun drying is associate with many problems. Use of solar dryer is one of the alternative options. However, it is problematic in rainy and cloudy days. In order to measure the efficiency of solar/biomass hybrid dryer was proposed. A solar/biomass hybrid dryer was fabricated in RECAST Lab. Wood blocks were used as fuel for the gasifier stove. Biomass burning gasifier stove was integrated with solar dryer as an auxiliary heat source through a heat exchanger. The hybrid system of biomass with solar dryer ensures to provide continuous heat when needed. Due to the intermittent nature of sun, especially in rainy or cloudy season, food materials being processed get spoiled. A hybrid solar/biomass drying system solve such problems. Experiments were conducted to test performance of hybrid solar dryers by drying chili and banana. During the load test, conducted for chili, 16 kg of ripen chili with initial moisture content 72.58% (w. b.) was dried to moisture content of 7.13% (w. b.) in 20 hours. The result indicated that drying of chili was faster, within 20 hours (2 days), in natural sunny weather, against 48 hours (5 days) in open sun drying during April, in Kathmandu. Overall efficiency of drying system was found to be 4.29%.</p> M.K. Mishra K.R. Shrestha V Sagar R.K. Amatya ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2017-12-04 2017-12-04 5 61 69 10.3126/njes.v5i0.22717