As scientists learn more about how the environment responds to human activity, it has become an area of increasing concern to the global community. RAND research has helped inform policies and direct further studies of environmental issues, from building efficiency and natural resource management to risk management and decisionmaking in the face of deep scientific and economic uncertainties.
Research conducted by:
RAND Justice, Infrastructure, and Environment;
Environment, Energy, and Economic Development Program
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Western Riverside County's Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Plan—a sweeping effort to protect endangered and threatened species while accelerating the approval of transportation improvements—has made significant progress, but needs modifying to reach its goals in Southern California's changing economy.
Preparing for natural disasters is a long, multi-faceted process that requires years of planning, coordination, and direct action. RAND has developed a new approach for assessing hurricane flood risk in New Orleans under uncertainty and evaluating city-wide approaches for reducing this risk.
RAND is working with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to explore the use of Robust Decision Making in the Bureau's long-term planning for the Colorado River.
Climate change presents decisionmakers with a fundamental quandary: how to address a potentially serious, long-term, and uncertain threat. A joint project of RAND Infrastructure, Safety, and Environment and the RAND Pardee Center sought to address this problem through basic research and computer modeling.
The Forest Allowance Program (Programa Bolsa Floresta) is an avoided deforestation initiative in Brazil that pays the local population a monthly allowance for environmental services and increases deforestation monitoring and enforcement. RAND is studying this and similar initiatives to determine their success in reducing deforestation.
The 2010 Integrated Resource Plan Update developed by the Los Angeles Metropolitan Water District (MWD) includes a preferred resource mix as well as an adaptive management approach to monitor key trends and modify the resource mix as necessary. RAND helped the MWD determine which trends are most useful to monitor.
The Southern California Metropolitan Water District sought advice determining which trends are most useful to monitor to implement its adaptive management strategy. RAND supported Metropolitan's Blue Ribbon Commission to develop recommendations for a new business model to help the agency meet its goals over the next fifty years.
RAND brings together cross-disciplinary research teams to evaluate the complex issues surrounding water resources management and planning; apply innovative methods that tackle problems from multiple perspectives and address uncertainty that is often ignored; and recommend solutions that are innovative, effective, and enduring.
The new Displaced New Orleans Residents Survey examines the current location, well-being, and plans of people who lived in the City of New Orleans when Hurricane Katrina struck in August 2005.
California's dirty air caused more than $193 million in hospital-based medical care from 2005 to 2007 as people sought help for problems such as asthma and pneumonia that are triggered by elevated pollution levels.
The Homeland Security and Defense Center conducts analysis to prepare and protect communities and critical infrastructure from natural disasters and terrorism and is a joint effort of the RAND National Security Research Division and RAND Justice, Infrastructure, and Environment.