Vinisha Singh Basnet


PhD Student


I am a PhD student in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign. I received my BA in English from the University of Delhi and my MA in Environment and Development from Ambedkar University Delhi (AUD). For my MA thesis, I researched resettlement and rehabilitation policies following irrigation-induced-displacement in dry-lands of central India. From 2017-19, I worked at the Centre for Development Practice at AUD in an action-research project Unlocking the Value Potential of Non-Timber Forest Product (NTFP) funded by the Ford Foundation, India. Through my research, I conceptualized and designed a germplasm/seed repository (called Living Brood Lac Bank) of the insect Kerria lacca, an economically important species for indigenous community in central India which was vanishing from their local forests. The bank, co-created with the help of the community on their common land in collaboration with local NGOs and state organizations and by integrating community’s as well as available ‘scientific’ knowledge around sustainable insect rearing, enhanced the livelihoods of indigenous Gond communities. Today, the seed bank stands fully functioning and government officials are considering the model of Living Brood Lac Bank to be adopted throughout the state of Chhattisgarh, India.

In my PhD, I look forward to research that brings theory and practice together in planning from the framework of ecological sustainability. My interest lies in understanding the nonhuman/human relationship at urban and regional scales towards environment sustainability and co-habitable future(s).