Call edition 2012

A new edition of the Prize of the Belgian Development Cooperation has been launched. This call is open until March 31st, 2011. You can read in the regulations whether you comply with the criteria for participation.

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Bioavailability of heavy metals in contaminated dredged sediments: Implications for Phytoremediation

Sanjay LAMSAL student laureate

°1975 Nepal
Bachelor's in agricultural sciences, Tribhuvan University, Nepal, 1998

Bioavailability of heavy metals in contaminated dredged sediments: Implications for Phytoremediation

S. Lamsal’s thesis offers a fascinating survey of the problems associated with the presence of heavy metals in soil and sediment. The explanation about the relevance of the research and the accumulation of experience with regard to the situation in Nepal were set out very clearly and succinctly. Of particular interest is the integrated approach, involving the measurement of various physical and chemical parameters; this is suitable for further development in the future. Another significant strength, of importance for the accurate risk assessment of heavy metals in soil and sediment, is the approach related to the concept of bioavailability.
This is a fascinating thesis, effectively executed, well written and clearly presented with great value, especially with regard to the training of the student, aimed at the issue of heavy metal contamination in Nepal. It should be said that this contamination can either derive from industry or be of natural origin.
For this reason, it is proposed to use the experience and knowledge gained to look at the problems in further detail in the future, focusing, for example, on arsenic contamination in the groundwater (used as drinking water), which is a problem in this region and is already familiar, above all, in Bangladesh and Pakistan. The proposed approach with wetlands is a highly suitable system for a country like Nepal. With wetlands, systems are applied that are as natural as possible. They create an environment which works optimally to immobilise heavy metals, mainly by microbial and plant-driven control of redox potential and pH.
With this award, we therefore wish to offer S. Lamsal encouragement to develop this study further towards the issue of heavy metals and metalloids in his country.

report by Dr Ludo Diels, Environmental Technology, Flemish Institute for Technological Research, Mol, Belgium