A scene from Bharatpur, Nepal. Photo: Skanda Gautam / Youth Innovation Lab.

The authors of this brief examine how a human-rights base approach to public policy and urban planning can be used to reduce both biological hazards (those that arise from disease-producing organisms) and disaster risk. They examine these issues by applying a recently developed framework in a case study of Bharatpur, the third-largest city in Nepal.

Based on their assessment, the authors recommend five policy changes:

1) Increase policy coherence and institutional coordination across levels and sectors of government.

2) Pay attention to the different impacts hazards have on different groups.

3) Develop capacity and allocate resources to help local government address risks for different groups.

4) Customize policies to address needs, particularly in peri-urban and rural areas engulfed by rapid urban growth.

5) Use community-engagement approaches to include and address issues raised by residents of marginalized communities.

The brief summarizes the findings of the research project, “Integrating Rights and Equality in Land-use Planning for Risk-informed Development Amid COVID-19 in Bharatpur Metropolitan City, Nepal .” The study was conducted by Youth Innovation Lab, Nepal, for Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI).