Dr Balram Dhakal

Data Manager for NERC Human Modified Tropical Forests Programme


Balram manages the data collation, organisation, sharing and archiving needs across three research consortia (BALI, ECOFOR and LOMBOK) within the Human Modified Tropical Forests Programme (HMTF).

He received a PhD degree in Tropical Forest Restoration from the University of Aberdeen, UK, and a MSc degree in Participatory Forestry from the same University. He received his BSc degree in Community Forestry from the Tribhuvan University, Nepal.

Balram has extensive experience of working, including managing data, in interdisciplinary, collaborative international projects focussed on ecological and social issues, particularly in the areas of biodiversity conservation, ecosystem function and services and rural livelihoods, mostly in tropics. He worked as a Programme Manager at Tropical Biology Association, Cambridge for the Business and Biodiversity Partnership Programme: Restoration of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services for Enhancing Environmental Conservation and Livelihoods in Mixed Agricultural Landscapes in Uganda. Before moving to Cambridge, he worked as a Project Manager/Research Assistant at University of Aberdeen for the Darwin Initiative Project: Buffer Zone Restoration and Development in Knuckles Forest Reserve, Sri Lanka. He has recently set-up and led (as a Director) an NGO - Communities and Nature International, that primarily works for enhancing the wellbeing of the disadvantaged, marginalised and ethnic minority communities and conserving the nature and natural resources on which the communities depend. His career also includes working in government and non-governmental conservation organisations in Nepal in the field of community forestry, resource governance and poverty alleviation.

Professional/Research Interests

In addition to research data and project management, he has broader research interests in the areas of ecology and society, mainly in the fields of forest restoration and management; biodiversity and ecosystem functions and services; GIS applications in forestry and conservation; environmental change; and participatory conservation and livelihoods.

Selected Publications

Dhakal, B., Pinard, M. A., Gunatilleke, I. A. U. N., Gunatilleke, C. V. S. and Burslem, D. F. R. P. (2015) Strategies for restoring tree seedling recruitment in high conservation value tropical montane forests underplanted with cardamom. Applied Vegetation Science 18 (1): 121-133.

Dhakal, B., Pinard, M. A., Gunatilleke, C. V. S., Gunatilleke, I. A. U. N., Madawala Weerasinghe, H. M. S. P., Dharmaparakrama, A. L. S. and Burslem, D. F. R. P. (2012) Impacts of cardamom cultivation on montane forest ecosystems in Sri Lanka. Forest Ecology and Management 274: 151-160.

Dhakal, B. and Pinard M. A. 2005. Community forestry and poverty reduction in Nepal: Perspectives on forest dependency, benefit, sharing, resource governance and overall livelihood to the poor. Proceedings of the Commonwealth Forestry Association Conference 2005, London.

Luintel, H. S. and Dhakal, B. 2002. Marketing of potential non-timber forest products in Banke and Bardia districts of Nepal.Research report. ForestAction, Kathmandu, Nepal.