Environment for Development

Environment for Development improves environmental policymaking in developing countries by building local capacity in environmental economics and generating high-caliber, objective, applied research.


Developing countries are now home to the world’s most pressing environmental and natural resource problems, including air and water pollution that sickens and kills millions of people each year and deforestation that causes biodiversity loss and climate change. Shortages of political, financial, and institutional resources often make it difficult to solve these problems using conventional regulatory tools. Overcoming these constraints requires both well-trained policy analysts and rigorous, objective research to guide policymaking.

The Environment for Development (EfD) Initiative aims to meet these needs. Led by the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, the EfD Initiative is a consortium of environmental economics research institutes in 12 countries: Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, India, Kenya, South Africa, Sweden, Tanzania, Vietnam, and the United States. Each EfD center comprises a group of 10 to 30 EfD research fellows and most are based at leading universities.

RFF’s role in the EfD Initiative is to help build environmental economics capacity in the 10 developing country EfD centers through collaborative research. In addition, RFF helps disseminate EfD research products and facilitates access to policymakers. RFF’s EfD Program includes eight researchers who are collaborating with colleagues in over a dozen developing countries. Their research focuses on four themes:

  • terrestrial ecosystems;
  • transportation;
  • climate and energy; and
  • fisheries and water.

Learn more about RFF’s Environment for Development Program and access hundreds of EfD research products.


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