Call for research concept notes

Economics of forest restoration and other environmental and natural resource issues

Deadline: 15 December 2019

Background

The South Asian Network for Development and Environmental Economics (SANDEE) is an initiative of ICIMOD under its MKAN Regional Programme. SANDEE is a research capacity-building network that provides research support to South Asian researchers and institutions interested in the connections between economic development, the environment, and the use of natural resources. ICIMOD is a regional intergovernmental learning and knowledge-sharing centre based in Kathmandu, Nepal, that works in eight countries of the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH): Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal, and Pakistan. 

Globalization and climate change increasingly threaten the stability of fragile mountain ecosystems and livelihoods in mountain communities. ICIMOD aims to understand these changes, adapt to them, and make the most of new opportunities while addressing upstream–downstream issues. ICIMOD serves its member countries through six regional programmes, with competencies in four thematic areas.

SANDEE invites concept notes for research projects in the general area of environmental and resource economics relating to the development of South Asia and the HKH. Although SANDEE will consider concept notes on any topic within that general area, of particular interest for the current call are concept notes on the economics of forest restoration: the reestablishment of forest cover in degraded or recently harvested forests (reforestation) or marginal or abandoned croplands and pastures (afforestation). The 2018 IPCC report Global Warming of 1.5 °C identified forest restoration as one of the most cost-effective options for reducing atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide. The economics of forest restoration remain poorly understood, particularly in developing countries. Important knowledge gaps include the effectiveness and costs/benefits of existing or past tree-planting programmes (including benefits other than carbon sequestration); incentives for encouraging households and communities to plant trees; and the impacts of tree-planting programmes on livelihoods, poverty, and equity within and between households and communities. Viable methodological approaches for filling these gaps include, but are not limited to, impact evaluation methods, cost–benefit analysis, choice experiments, and field experiments. 


Application Guidelines and Selection Criteria

  1. Regardless of whether concept notes submitted in response to this call focus on forest restoration or other environmental/natural resource topics, SANDEE will prioritize the selection of concept notes that have a strong economics component and the dual potential to produce high-impact scientific publications and information that is useful to national-, provincial-, or local-level policy makers in the region. 

  2. Concept notes for action research that aims to produce consulting-type reports will not be considered. SANDEE welcomes concept notes that involve interdisciplinary projects, cross-border collaborations, and transboundary topics with a mountain and gender focus. Please visit www.sandeeonline.org/publicationdisp.php?pcid=1 to view examples of publications from completed SANDEE projects. 

  3. Researchers working in South Asia and the HKH are eligible to submit concept notes. 

  4. Principal investigators (PIs) must be junior to mid-career professionals employed by a university, research institute, or other similar institutions in the region, including government agencies and nonprofit organizations. 
  5. Research teams can include senior researchers as co-PIs or mentors but not as PIs. 
  6. We especially encourage women researchers and researchers affiliated with member universities of the HUC to apply.

Grant Amount and Duration

Grants are likely to be in the range of USD 20,000–30,000 over a two-year period. Larger grants are more likely if teams are multidisciplinary, involve two or more countries in the region, or focus on a transboundary issue. 
 

Application Procedure and Deadline

To be considered for the Summer 2020 grant cycle, please review the procedure and submit the application form online by 15 December 2019

Candidates whose concept notes are shortlisted will be invited to submit full research proposals, which will be rigorously reviewed by multiple reviewers. Successfully revised proposals will be further reviewed, and a final shortlist will be formed. PIs of shortlisted proposals will be invited to a research and training workshop to be held in June 2020, where they will present and defend their proposals for a SANDEE research grant competition. 

If you have any difficulty submitting the online form, please write to Neesha Pradhan () mentioning the nature of the problem.