Under Preparation


Images from the Sky: Alternative Approach for Measuring our Progress

25 August 2023 | Online (Zoom) | 9:00–16:30 (Nepal Standard Time)

Application deadline: 30 June 2023

The South Asian Network for Development and Environmental Economics (SANDEE) at ICIMOD, East- West University (EWU), and Goa University (GU) are jointly organising a workshop on “Images from the sky: alternative approach for measuring our progress,” for environmental economics research.
This workshop is part of the 12th Congress of the Asian Association for Environmental and Resource Economics (AAERE) to be held on 29-30 August 2023. Applicants whose papers are accepted for AAERE conference will be given high priority in selection. However, interested and eligible applicants who are not planning to atend the AAERE conference are also encouraged to participate in this workshop.


There is a growing unease with the use of GDP as a measure of welfare or even as a meaningful development indicator when the globe is facing triple planetary crisis. The frequency with which national income information becomes available is annual in most countries and there is a varying degree of reliability of these estimates. Also, the estimates of sub-national accounts are limited. Economists are therefore turning increasingly to the use of “images from the sky” (Steve G. Manuel, 1992). The workshop will explore the limitations of conventional GDP in sustainability studies and environmental decision-making and will provide participants an opportunity to engage with alternative ways where satellite images are being used for research in environmental economics.

Topics covered

  • Limitations of GDP as a measure of economic progress and advantages of using alternative indicators such as nightlight data for investigating environmental issues with examples,
  • Extraction of LULC (i.e. Nightlight) and other relevant data from different platforms
  • Economic analysis of environmental issues and sustainability using satellite data

Workshop expectations

The one-day workshop will combine lectures with hands-on training (6 contact hours). Participants are expected to have QGIS and STATA software installed on their computers. Necessary data and reading materials will be provided before the workshop to the registered participants. The workshop is being organised online to encourage wider participation across several countries in Asia.

Who can apply?

To be eligible, participants must meet the following requirements:

  • A master’s degree or PhD in economics with a good understanding of basic and applied econometrics and environmental economics
  • Some experience in applying statistical software, such as Stata
  • An interest in learning about GIS mapping for applied research in environmental economics, along with a reasonable internet connection
  • Researchers from working areas of SANDEE and EEPSEA networks are eligible to apply
  • Priority will be given to junior to mid-career university faculty and also to researchers from think tanks, research organisations, and government agencies
  • Researchers from outside Asia are not eligible to apply

Researchers with accepted papers to be presented at the AAERE conference will be given high priority.
Approximately 40 participants will be invited to the workshop. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

On behalf of the organizers, Mani Nepal (Programme Coordinator, SANDEE, and Lead Economist, ICIMOD), will be the course director and Manashree Newa (Programme Associate, SANDEE- ICIMOD) will be administering the workshop.

Application process
Interested and eligible candidates are requested to submit their application online before 30 June 2023. Shortlisted candidates will be informed towards the end of July/early August 2023, who needs to be registered for securing their seats.

Please fill the online form here and attach a single PDF file (no more than 3 pages altogether – one- inch margin, 12-point font) containing the following:

  • A one-page cover letter indicating how this course will be useful in the applicant’s teaching and research activities; prior background in environmental economics courses; experience in GIS; and exposure to basic econometrics and statistical software STATA.
  • One-page research concept note (precursor of a research proposal) on issues related to environmental and resource economics in Asia.
  • A brief CV (no more than one page) indicating age, gender, country, and professional responsibilities/activities (current job and institutional details with address); educational qualifications (highest degree/ institution/date); two most important research publications (if any); and current teaching and research responsibilities (if relevant).

Please submit the form to Manashree Newa at

We request you to pass this information along to interested colleagues and peers.

There will be a nominal registration fee of $ 50 (USD). Student’s will be expected to pay a concessional rate of $30 (USD) with the proof of valid student ID. Shortlisted participants are required to pay the fee using the conference website of AAERE. Please do not pay before you receive a notification that your application to this pre-conference workshop is accepted.

Workshop faculty

Gaude, Heena is an Assistant Professor and Programme Director of Economics at the Goa Business School, Goa University, India. She teaches spatial economics analysis and macroeconomics. Her current research is related to examine trade-off between NDC and SDG targets: a macro level analysis of carbon sequestration and economic development of India between 1992 to 2018.

Haque, A.K. Enamul is the Professor of Economics at East West University (Dhaka, Bangladesh), Director of the Economic Research Group, Executive Director of Asian Center for Development, member of SANDEE’s Steering and Advisory Committees, and member of the South Asian Network  for Environmental Law and Policy. Haque is an environmental economist with extensive research and teaching experience in climate change, agriculture, and urban issues in developing countries with a focus on South Asia and Bangladesh. Haque has MSc and PhD degrees in resource and environmental economics from the University of Guelph, Canada.

Mukhopadhyay, Pranab is a Professor of Economics and Vice-Dean (Research) at the Goa Business School at Goa University, India. He is a fellow at SANDEE and INSEE, and formerly President of INSEE (2016-18). Earlier, he worked as an environmental economist for IUCN, Nepal. He currently is a co- editor of the journal Ecology, Economy and Society -- the INSEE journal. His areas of work include managing commons, nature and society, sustainable development, ecosystem services, and economic growth. Mukhopadhyay studied economics at Presidency College, Calcuta and Jawaharlal Nehru University, India.

Nepal, Mani is the Programme Coordinator for SANDEE and the Lead Economist at ICIMOD. Earlier, he was an Associate Professor of Economics, Tribhuvan University; Distinguished Visiting Professor, Kyoto University; Visiting Assistant Professor, University of New Mexico, USA; Visiting Professor, Kathmandu University; and Adjunct Professor, Agriculture and Forestry University. He also worked as a Senior Economist at the Department of Finance and Administration, Santa Fe, New Mexico. With research interest in the intersection of development and environmental issues, Nepal is a Fulbright scholar with an MS degree in Policy Economics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and PhD in Economics from the University of New Mexico, USA.

About the organizing institutions
SANDEE at the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) supports ICIMOD’s programmatic work and strengthens the Centre’s economic and policy analysis. It is a research capacity and academic leadership building network that works in South Asia and the Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) region, and supports researchers from the region and institutions interested in understanding the inter-connections between economic development, the environment, and the use of natural resources through rigorous research.

East West University, rated among the top private universities of Bangladesh, is an institution that promotes eastern culture and values and meaningfully blends eastern and western thought and innovation. EWU is striving not only to maintain high quality in both instruction and research, it is also rendering community service through dissemination of information, organization of training programs and other activities.

Goa University, established in 1985, is a young public university in India located on the western coast. The National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) has currently (2022) ranked the  University at Rank-band 101-150. In the QS World University Rankings, Goa University is among the group of 241-250 universities in the BRICS countries, in the group of 61-65 among Indian Universities and in the group of 501-550 universities in Asia.