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Workshop: NeurIPS 2023 Workshop on Tackling Climate Change with Machine Learning: Blending New and Existing Knowledge Systems

Discovering Effective Policies for Land-Use Planning

Risto Miikkulainen · Olivier Francon · Daniel Young · Babak Hodjat


How areas of land are allocated for different uses, such as forests, urban, and agriculture, has a large effect on carbon balance, and therefore climate change. Based on available historical data on changes in land use and a simulation of carbon emissions/absorption, 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 and the BLUE simulator. It generates Pareto fronts that trade off carbon impact and amount of change customized to different locations, thus providing a potentially useful tool for land-use planning.

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