How areas of land are allocated for different uses, such as forests, urban areas, and agriculture, has a large effect on the terrestrial carbon balance, and therefore climate change. Based on available historical data on land-use changes and a simulation of the associated carbon emissions and removals, a surrogate model can be learned that makes it possible to evaluate the different options available to decision-makers efficiently. An evolutionary search process can then be used to discover effective land-use policies for specific locations. Such a system was built on the Project Resilience platform and evaluated with the Land-Use Harmonization dataset LUH2 and the bookkeeping model BLUE. It generates Pareto fronts that trade off carbon impact and amount of land-use change customized to different locations, thus providing a potentially useful tool for land-use planning.
A shorter version appeared in the Proceedings of the NeurIPS 2023 Workshop: Tackling Climate Change with Machine Learning.