Examining hazard vulnerability and social marginalization in Nepal

Authors: Janardan Mainali*, Stetson University, Uttam Babu Shrestha, Global Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies, Nepal, Sanam Aksha, University of Central Florida, Suraj Bhattarai, Global Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies, Nepal, Sujata Shrestha, Global Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies, Nepal, Resham Thapa, Global Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies, Nepal, Krishna Devkota, Global Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies, Nepal, Mandira Lamichhane, Global Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies, Nepal, Nirdesh Nepal, Global Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies, Nepal, Kopila Rijal, Global Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies, Nepal, Sanjeev Poudel, Global Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies, Nepal
Topics: Human-Environment Geography, Hazards and Vulnerability
Keywords: Vulnerability, Resilience, Hazard, Himalaya, Social Equity
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/10/2021
Start / End Time: 9:35 AM / 10:50 AM
Room: Virtual 41
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


In this work, we use data-driven spatial patterns analysis to analyze various hazard risks, community vulnerability to hazards, and their relationships to social marginalization in Nepal. Because of the weakly governed political system and historically rooted feudal social system based on patriarchy and caste, a significant portion of the Nepali population, particularly indigenous people, Dalits, Muslims, Madhesis, LGBTIQA+, and women are marginalized. The hazard vulnerability which are usually examined with a quantitative matrix rarely incorporates the voice of the marginalized community. We hypothesize that the increased physical, biological, and public health hazards impact the marginalized community more and push them further to the edge. We will examine such phenomena in Nepal by looking at the various marginalized communities in Nepal, their spatial distribution, social vulnerability, and response to various hazards. In this work, we spatially analyze hazard and social vulnerability patterns including that of impacts from COVID19 across different local administrative units in Nepal. We establish a working definition of marginalization in Nepal and explore its Spatio-temporal relationships with hazards and social vulnerability. We analyze various hazards like hydro-meteorological hazards, geological hazards, seismic hazards, environmental hazards, and COVID19 and related public health hazards using biophysical, environmental, and social hazard risk assessment framework. We then incorporate social vulnerability by examining exposure, sensitivity, and adaptive capacity of the people across Nepal using open-source social, environmental, and economic datasets. We use special matrices to explore current and future risks on marginalized communities and how they respond to hazard risks and vulnerability.

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