Project at a Glance

Title: A Scenario Tool for Assessing the Health Benefits of Conserving, Restoring and Managing Natural and Working Lands in California

Principal Investigator / Author(s): Jerrett, Michael

Contractor: UC Berkeley

Contract Number: 19RD015

Research Program Area: Health & Exposure

Topic Areas: Ambient Air Quality Standards

Research Summary:

In California, landmass is comprised of biologically diverse landscapes including forests, woodlands, rangelands, farmlands, riparian areas, grasslands, scrublands, wetlands and urban green space. Together these lands are known as Natural and Working Lands (NWL). NWL are potentially a major source of carbon sequestration by capturing carbon via soils, plants, and trees. To understand more completely the benefits of actions undertaken in CA to reduce emissions and increase carbon sequestration in NWL, it is critical to measure the potential impacts of these actions on human, wildlife, and ecosystem health. This project aims to create a scenario tool that quantitatively assesses the direct human health impacts resulting from the activities that impact NWL outlined within the Draft CA 2030 NWL Implementation Plan and in other policies and programs. To develop the tool, the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) will conduct an in-depth review of the NWL policies, programs, and activities. UCLA will also conduct a comprehensive literature review of health studies in areas where NWL may have an impact on health, including wildfires, urban green space, rural green space and benefits of forests in reducing PM and improving health. UCLA will use the literature review and review of existing NWL models to form the foundation of the NWL Health Scenario Tool. Variables included in the model will depend on the strength and certainty of the evidence on associations between NWL and direct health impacts identified within the literature. It is anticipated that the results of the NWL Health Scenario Tool will fill critical gaps in knowledge about potential human health impacts of various activities related to the conservation, management, and restoration of NWL in CA.

For questions regarding this research project, including available data and progress status, contact: Research Division staff at (916) 445-0753

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