2018 First prize winner Dr. Prajwal Rajbhandari

17th September 2020

In 2018, Dr. Prajwal Rajbhandari was awarded the first prize of the Elsevier Foundation Green and Sustainable Chemistry Challenge for his project, “Guava leaves as natural preservatives for farmers of Nepal.” Due to a lack of viable non-toxic preservatives, or cold chain technologies, one-third of Nepal’s produce is spoiled before it reaches market each year. Dr. Rajbhandari’s project taps the antioxidant and antimicrobial properties of guava leaves to make a water-based, sprayable natural preservative, contributing to SDGs 2, 12 and 15. Two years later, we interviewed Dr. Rajbhandari about his experience as a winner, as well as the upcoming steps for his project.

The Lancet Global Health, Volume 8, September 2020

This study supports SDGs 3 and 6 by analysing data from 88 low-income and middle-income countries and showing geographical disparities in access to clean water and sanitation facilities. These findings identify where efforts to increase access to safe water and sanitation have been successful over time, and highlight the need for targeted and tailored interventions to reach those communities and regions that have been left behind.
Elsevier, One Earth, Volume 3, 18 September 2020
The recession and debt distress accompanying coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pose serious threats to governments’ ability to invest in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, raising the specter of another lost decade for climate action. However, fiscal policy can be designed to simultaneously stabilize the economy and public finances while advancing sustainable development.

Heliyon, Volume 6, August 2020

A good paper to highlight plastic pollution in the marine ecosystem in order to make people aware of a plastic-free, healthy blue ocean in the near future.

The Lancet Global Health, Volume 8, August 2020

Eradicating food insecurity is necessary for achieving global health goals. Liberal trade policies might increase food supplies but how these policies influence individual-level food insecurity remains uncertain. We aimed to assess the association between liberal trade policies and food insecurity at the individual level, and whether this association varies across country-income and household-income groups.
Elsevier, Building and Environment, Volume 180, August 2020
Within a time span of only a few months, the SARS-CoV-2 virus has managed to spread across the world. This virus can spread by close contact, which includes large droplet spray and inhalation of microscopic droplets, and by indirect contact via contaminated objects. While in most countries, supermarkets have remained open, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, authorities have ordered many other shops, restaurants, bars, music theaters and indoor sports centers to be closed.
Elsevier, Current Opinion in Insect Science, Volume 40, August 2020
Insects are indispensable actors within global agri-food systems and ensure the delivery of myriad ecosystem services. A progressive decline in insect numbers — as inflicted by habitat loss, pollution or intensive agriculture — can jeopardize a sustained provisioning of those services. Though we routinely disregard how insects help meet multiple sustainable development challenges, a gradual insect decline can have grave, long-lasting consequences.
Elsevier, Current Opinion in Insect Science, Volume 40, August 2020
Tropical cropping systems are highly dependent on synthetic insecticides, which generates sustainability issues. We performed a bibliometric analysis of the current insecticide literature (2017–2019) and used the Sustainable Development Goals roadmap to identify research topics in insecticide research that should be promoted to attain sustainable cropping systems.
Elsevier, Current Opinion in Insect Science, Volume 40, August 2020
Tropical insects are astonishingly diverse and abundant yet receive only marginal scientific attention. In natural tropical settings, insects are involved in regulating and supporting ecosystem services including seed dispersal, pollination, organic matter decomposition, nutrient cycling, herbivory, food webs and water quality, which in turn help fulfill UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Current and future global changes that affect insect diversity and distribution could disrupt key ecosystem services and impose important threats on ecosystems and human well-being.
Elsevier, Current Opinion in Insect Science, Volume 40, August 2020
Termites are amongst the main macroinvertebrate decomposers in tropical ecosystems and they exert additional impacts through the creation of biostructures (mounds, galleries, sheetings, etc.) with different soil physical and chemical properties, thereby impacting positively on numerous ecosystem services for humankind. Unfortunately, this positive or ‘bright’ role of termites is often overshadowed by their ‘dark’ side, that is, their status as pests threatening agriculture and constructions.