Environmental Change and Planetary Health

Our Planet is at increasing risk. The Earth is facing unprecedented threats due to rapid anthropogenic pressures causing the destabilization of the function of the biosphere. As a consequence, environmental changes like rising surface temperatures, biodiversity loss, pollution, frequent natural disaster, shift in natural ecosystems, and climate changes are occurring continuously and the human communities, in particular, the low-middle income countries are suffering disproportionately from these changes. While research on these critical issues is advancing and public recognition of these issues is growing, the world is not reacting fast enough, and policies and practices are falling short of the mark, resulting in an unhealthy biosphere to thrive human future. To address these issues, the world needs an integrated, solution-oriented approach through bridging disciplines and sectors.

Nature and Health

Globally, increasing urbanization has altered the urban surfaces, threatening natural ecosystems and deteriorating human health. As a result, urban dwellers are often exposed to high levels of air, noise, heat, and light pollution – all of which are known to be detrimental to human health. Due to capitalist processes, urban landscapes offer limited room for fair inclusion and distribution of the natural environment (e.g. Green Space and Blue Space). However, empirical evidence indicates that more exposure to nature is connected with improved health and well-being in highly urbanized societies. To build a healthy planet, we must stop seeing nature as a commodity and instead, coexist with it in a mutualistic symbiosis—a relationship in which Humans and Nature are mutually dependent on and benefit from each other.

Water and Wastewater

Water scarcity and poor water quality are major issues facing worldwide. Around 2 billion people lack access to safe drinking water, 4.2 billion lack access to clean sanitation and 3 billion do not have basic handwashing facilities. Economic advancement, poverty eradication, and sustainable development are all threatened by water shortages and pollution, which are compounded by population expansion, more water-intensive growth patterns, increasing rainfall unpredictability, and pollution. The effects of such stress are felt on a local to a global scale, more intensely by the poorest and most vulnerable people. On the other hand, the management of wastewater in underdeveloped nations is in a state of crisis due to the lack of resources, and poor and inefficient management systems. To overcome these challenges, the worlds need to implement an integrated water management plan as well as appropriate technology.

Natural Resource Management

Natural resource management is a crucial aspect of maintaining a sustainable environment and supporting social and economic development. It involves the sustainable use, conservation, and management of various natural resources, including land, water, forests, minerals, and wildlife, to meet the needs of present and future generations. We conduct research aimed at improving our understanding of the complex interactions between these resources, the environment, and human society, with a focus on developing practical solutions to promote their sustainable use. Our research also explores the impacts of human activities on natural resources and the environment and identifies strategies to mitigate these impacts. We use various research methods, including empirical studies, modeling, and geo-spatial analysis, to inform policy and governance frameworks that balance the competing demands of different sectors while ensuring the long-term sustainability of natural resources. Our research group collaborates with various stakeholders, including governments, local communities, civil society, and industry, to achieve sustainable development goals and build resilient communities that can withstand the effects of climate change and natural disasters.

Environmental Behavioral Decisions

Environmental behavioral decisions research is critical in the current world situation as the world faces multiple environmental challenges, including climate change, air pollution, deforestation, and water scarcity. These challenges pose significant risks to the health and well-being of individuals and communities, as well as the planet’s overall sustainability. Urgent action is required to address these challenges, and effective environmental decision-making is crucial in achieving this. To shed light on this issue, our team aims to investigate the attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors of individuals and groups towards the environment and explores how these factors influence environmental decision-making, policy development, and conservation efforts. We use various research methods, including surveys, experiments, and field studies, to understand the psychological, cultural and social processes that underlie environmental behavior and attitudes. Our research group aims to promote a deeper understanding of the complex interactions between humans and the environment and to facilitate the development of effective policies and interventions that promote sustainable behavior and attitudes. We work closely with various stakeholders, including policymakers, non-governmental organizations, and communities, to translate our research findings into practical solutions for environmental conservation and sustainability.