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RFF Home > Centers > CMEW

RFF's Center for the Management of Ecological Wealth

RFF’s Center for the Management of Ecological Wealth (CMEW) helps public, private, and nonprofit leaders and decisionmakers develop innovative and cost-effective environmental management solutions that account for the benefits of natural systems. CMEW experts foster coordinated economic, ecological, and policy analysis to identify and help resource managers design innovative conservation policies; use natural systems to benefit businesses and communities; and improve on-the-ground natural resource management.

CMEW'S Research Agenda:

  • Deliver policy-relevant ecological analysis and methods of measuring outcomes;
  • Evaluate and communicate the benefits and economic values of ecological goods, services, and systems; and
  • Facilitate the development of new institutions, rules, and governance structures to protect and enhance ecological systems

Strategic Research Initiatives

To enrich RFF’s research and collaboration on important topics, CMEW has established the following initiatives that offer opportunities for unique economic and policy analysis and expert engagement, in addition to a broader research portfolio.


CMEW thanks the following supporters for their generous contributions during 2014:

  • American Forest & Paper Association
    BASF Corporation
    Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
    Department of Defense
    Elaine J. Dorward-King
    Electric Power Research Institute
    Green Diamond
    Linden Trust for Conservation
    Litterman Family Foundation
    Lockheed Martin Corporation
    Mary C. Barber
    National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    National Alliance of Forestry Owners

  • National Council for Air and Stream Improvement
    National Science Foundation
    Paul Ringold
    Plum Creek Timber Company, Inc.
    Robert P. Rotella Foundation
    Rockefeller Family Fund, Inc.
    TD Bank, N.A.
    The New York Community Trust
    US Endowment for Forestry and Communities
    US Environmental Protection Agency
    US Forest Service
    US Geological Survey
    Weyerhaeuser Company

Center Leadership

James W. Boyd
Director and RFF Senior Fellow

What is ecological wealth?

The goods and services provided by nature connect and shape our world—forests store carbon, reduce runoff, and clean the air; rivers and streams provide water for drinking, industry, and irrigation; and wetlands and estuaries catch and purify stormwater and serve as buffers against storms and floods. Yet these contributions are often ignored when weighing costs and benefits, planning for the future, and making investment decisions. As a result, numerous opportunities are missed to save money, capitalize on vital ecosystem services, and safeguard the ecological wealth essential to our future well-being. Watch the video.