The fall and rise of Nepal: challenges of rebuilding after the earthquake

Pranita Shrestha [1]
Researcher, SNIS

Pranita Shrestha is part of the SNIS project research team working on World Heritage and rights ( She is currently in Australia and returning to Nepal to do fieldwork in July, 2015.

Within a couple of hours only, one could see the fall and rise of a nation struck by a massive earthquake. Loss of lives and the collapse of built form (in particular cultural heritage buildings) were among the grave consequences of this disaster. Yet, humanity and compassion mobilized people to help each other despite the chaos that reigned.

On 25th April, 2015 at approximately 11:58 am local time, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Nepal with its epicenter between the capital Kathmandu and the city of Pokhara. Together with a series of aftershocks, this earthquake led to unimaginable devastation and loss of lives. The high magnitude seismic activity destroyed a large number of buildings in the country. People were trapped amidst the rubbles for days without help reaching the affected areas. The scale of the disaster was overwhelming not only for the government in Nepal but also for the international community. The strategic geographic location of this small, landlocked country between two main superpowers of the world, India and China, the presence of Mount Everest and its old cultural heritage immediately caught the attention of the international community. Many countries around the world came in to help in Nepal.

Continue reading

Introductory video to the research project

The SNIS and the Department of Anthropology of the University of Lucerne are happy to present this brief introductory video to the research project on understanding rights practices in the World Heritage system: lessons from the Asia Pacific.

It features Nepal project coordinator Dr. Sudarshan Tiwari and includes images of heritage and communities now heavily damaged by the devastating earthquake. Below follows a commentary by project researcher Pranita Shrestha about the recent events. Please share widely to raise awareness about this important topic.

Earthquake in Nepal

The earthquake that struck Nepal on Saturday flattened many of the country’s historic structures and some residential buildings, leaving people without shelter. Ellen Barry reports from Kathamandu in the New York Times.