Dhruba Shrestha


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1989 …2021

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Personal profile

Personal profile

Dhruba Pikha Shrestha has a BSc in Agriculture from the University of Udaipur, India (1973), an MSc in soil survey from the International Institute for Aerospace Survey and Earth Sciences (ITC), The Netherlands (1984), and a PhD in Earth Science from Ghent University, Belgium (2000).  His research for the PhD was on the aspects of erosion and sedimentation in the Nepalese Himalaya.

He started working in Nepal as a lecturer at Sano Thimi Campus, Tribhuvan University (1973/74), then as a soil surveyor at the Nepal Agriculture Research Council in Lalipur (1974/76) and finally as a soil scientist at the Gandaki Agriculture Development Centre in Khairenitar near Pokhara (1976/77). In 1977 he got an opportunity to work in Yemen Arab Republic as a United Nations Volunteer in a World Bank funded agriculture research and development project where he worked for 4 years. In August 1984, he was hired by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations for 2 years in a soil survey and land capability classification project in Saudi Arabia.

Since September 1986, he has been working for ITC, which became a faculty of the University of Twente in 2010. His work focuses on the use of remote sensing, GIS and modelling techniques for assessing land degradation and on soil and water conservation.


His teaching focuses mainly on the use of remote sensing and spatial modelling of land degradation processes (e.g. soil salinity, erosion). Apart from contributing to various modules within the natural hazard and disaster risk management course he has been coordinating 2 modules for several years: (i) Process modelling of natural hazards,  and (ii) Natural resource degradaton modelling.  

Research interests

Dr. Shrestha is involved in the research related to the effects of land cover/land use change and extreme rain on land degradation studies (e.g. soil erosion, salinity, flash floods) and the spatial modelling for assessing soil losses. On these topics he supervises MSc and PhD researchers. To date he has supervised successfully more than 60 MSc theses. 


  • He has contributed to various advisory services to institutes/organizations in several countries (e.g. Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Thailand, Egypt, Tunisia, Syria, Spain and Italy) on the use of geo-information techniques to land degradation assessments. He has also contributed to projects in several organizations such as Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of United Nations, International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), Indian Institute of Remote Sensing (IIRS), and Arab Centre for the Study of Arid Reasons and Dry Lands (ACSAD).
  • In 2016 and in 2017 he has coordinated capacity building tailor-made courses for the staff of Remote Sensing Department, Mandalay Technological University, Myanmar. The title of the capacity building course was "Next generation regional satellites and modelling techniques for watershed management and disaster prevention" which was given in cooperation with GISTDA, Thailand. 
  • During 2016 - 2017 he coordinated a Southeast Asia-EU Mobility project on watershed management for disaster prevention. Cooperating partner university's were University of The Philippines, Mandalay Technological University (Myanmar), Naresuan University (Thailand), Osnabruck University of Applied Sciences (Germany) and University of Twente (The Netherlands). 
  •  In 2015 he coordinator a refresher course titled, "New opportunities and challenges of using the next generation regional satellites and modelling techniques for water management". The refresher course was attended by 18 NUFFIC alumni from south and south-east Asian countries. It was organised in cooperation with University of Yangon and GISTDA, Thailand.
  • In 2014-2015 he contributed to the EU funded IncREO project (http://www.increo-fp7.eu/) by developing a database and modelling for assessing flash flood hazard in the Fella river basin in Italy. 
  • During 2008-2010 he was involved as a co-coordinator from ITC in the EU funded DESIRE project  (http:// www.desire-project.eu ). Responsible of ITC in the project was for the work block on the implementation of the monitoring phase of soil and water conservation in 12 hotspot locations around the world.
  • He has worked as a coordinator of an institutional and capacity development project with the Department of Land Development, Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives in Thailand during 2003-2008: http://www.ldd.go.th/Efiles_project/ldd_plannig/welcome/index.html
  • In 2006-2007 he coordinated in cooperation with Adelphi, Germany in the EU funded KAPRIMO project in Nepal. 
  • As a secretary of the Working Group Remote Sensing of the International Union of Soil Science he was involved in the organization of the international symposium on remote sensing and GIS applications in mountainous land in Kathmandu, Nepal in 1999. He has also contributed as an editor for the publication of the symposium proceedings.
  • In 1997 he contributed to the institutional support project for the Indian Institute of Remote Sensing, in Dehradun, India.
  • In 1989/90 he was involved as a regional coordinator in the UNEP/ISRIC project on the Global Assessment of Soil Degradation (GLASOD)(http://www.isric.org/projects/global-assessment-human-induced-soil-degradation-glasod). In this project he contributed by mapping the southeast Asia part of the GLASOD map. 

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 6 - Clean Water and Sanitation
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land


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