Presentation (Project) Title

The Affects of Climate Change & Public Health in Nepal

Mentor Information

Holly Donahue Singh (Judy Genshaft Honors College)

Presentation Format

Event

Abstract

Among the plethora of critical political and social issues threatening the world today, climate change proves to be one of the most threatening of all. South Asia is bearing the brunt of it, with populations dealing with failing health, the gradual disappearance of medicinal plants, and the rise in labor migration. Specifically, the country of Nepal will be studied for this project because of how the effects of climate change are exacerbated. Monsoon patterns, rising sea levels, and shrinking glaciers are all ways in which the population of the country is vulnerable. Due to its geography, Nepal, in particular, is facing environmental challenges at a faster and more serious rate than the global average, with snow and ice melts in the mountains threatening infrastructure and torrential rainfall during the monsoon season in the foothills. In addition, a rise in temperatures and greenhouse gas emissions means an influx of new and foreign diseases that the healthcare sector will not be prepared for. Millions of Nepalese are now exposed to serious public health risks, food insecurity, a decrease in agricultural production, and the loss of forestry and biodiversity. How and why do all of these changes contribute to the evolution of healthcare, medicine, and healing? With all of these issues Nepal is facing, plant-based traditional knowledge and the livelihoods of many are now at risk. A loss of traditional methods of healing also means the disappearance of cultural practices and a means of community for many Nepalese people. Thus, this project’s main focus is the effect of climate change and deteriorating environmental conditions on medicine and healing practices in Nepal.

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The Affects of Climate Change & Public Health in Nepal

Among the plethora of critical political and social issues threatening the world today, climate change proves to be one of the most threatening of all. South Asia is bearing the brunt of it, with populations dealing with failing health, the gradual disappearance of medicinal plants, and the rise in labor migration. Specifically, the country of Nepal will be studied for this project because of how the effects of climate change are exacerbated. Monsoon patterns, rising sea levels, and shrinking glaciers are all ways in which the population of the country is vulnerable. Due to its geography, Nepal, in particular, is facing environmental challenges at a faster and more serious rate than the global average, with snow and ice melts in the mountains threatening infrastructure and torrential rainfall during the monsoon season in the foothills. In addition, a rise in temperatures and greenhouse gas emissions means an influx of new and foreign diseases that the healthcare sector will not be prepared for. Millions of Nepalese are now exposed to serious public health risks, food insecurity, a decrease in agricultural production, and the loss of forestry and biodiversity. How and why do all of these changes contribute to the evolution of healthcare, medicine, and healing? With all of these issues Nepal is facing, plant-based traditional knowledge and the livelihoods of many are now at risk. A loss of traditional methods of healing also means the disappearance of cultural practices and a means of community for many Nepalese people. Thus, this project’s main focus is the effect of climate change and deteriorating environmental conditions on medicine and healing practices in Nepal.