In April 2018, the World Resources Institute launched Resource Watch, which “provides trusted and timely data for a sustainable future.” This blog will use the Resource Watch platform, by looking at different datasets in the context of Nepal.
Perhaps we want to investigate whether there is a link between high population density and exposure to high levels of PM 2.5. Figure 1 provides two datasets. The first layer shows 2015 population exposed to unhealthy levels of PM 2.5, expressed in percentages. In the case of Nepal, about 100% of the population is exposed to unhealthy levels of PM 2.5. The second layer shows 2015 population density (people/km2). Since the entire population is essentially exposed to high levels of PM 2.5, this map does not show a correlation between population density and population exposed to unhealthy levels of PM 2.5.
Resource Watch also provides several datasets on land and agriculture. Figure 2 shows global croplands and the vegetation health risk. Overall, Nepal’s vegetation health index ranges from 0-40, indicating vegetation stress and possible crop loss, to indices above 40, indicating greater crop production. Though, much of the country’s croplands are located in areas with vegetation indices of under 40.