Land Use Transition and Human Health in the context of Climate Change in the Eastern Himalayas

Land use change is pervasive in the Eastern Himalayas, driven by population growth, socioeconomic development, urbanization and technology. But, little is known about the impact of land use change on ecosystem services and human health.

A one-year preparatory project (103152) saw the formation of research teams in Nepal, Yunnan province and the autonomous region of Tibet, China.

During this project, each team will focus one or two issues identified during the preparatory phase. In Nepal, researchers will investigate the causes of malnutrition among shifting cultivators, identify foods that could replace diminishing wild stocks, assess the role of water-borne diseases in malnutrition status, and examine the importance of gender norms and practices in relation to food and water problems. In Tibet, the team will verify the link between the settlement of agro-pastoralists and the spread of infectious diseases, assess environmental effects linked to settlement (including pollution), and solicit support from local policymakers for infrastructure development. The Yunnan team will raise awareness of the importance of pesticide poisoning, and set up a system for reporting, diagnosing and treating cases. They will also explore the reasons why the government-sponsored water improvement program is ineffective and endeavor to improve and embed it at the communal level.

The overall goal is to reduce the vulnerability of mountain people to health issues caused by land use change using ecosystem approaches to human health (Ecohealth).

Project ID


Project status


Start Date

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

End Date

Monday, November 7, 2011


36 months

IDRC Officer

Mallee, Hein

Total funding

CA$ 500,769


China, Far East Asia, Nepal, Central Asia, South Asia


Food, Environment, and Health

Project Leader

Fang Jing


International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development

Institution Country


Institution Website