Resource management is often focused on achieving environmental and socioeconomic targets. ALCES Optimizer is designed to inform target-based management by systematically assessing a wide-range of management alternatives to determine strategies that are best able to balance diverse and potentially competing objectives. When used at the start of a planning process, ALCES Optimizer can focus planning on those land-use strategies best suited for achieving management objectives. ALCES Optimizer can also be used as an exploratory tool to consider the land-use implications of a range of indicator targets. By directing planning towards promising land-use strategies and realistic management objectives, ALCES Optimizer has the potential to streamline the planning process.
ALCES Optimizer implements a simulation experiment in ALCES Integrator to statistically model the influence of land-use sectoral growth on environmental and socioeconomic indicators. These relationships are then assessed by an optimization algorithm to identify land-use strategies best able to achieve user-defined indicator objectives. The optimization is implemented as a customized linear programming algorithm in Excel that iteratively adjusts competing indicator targets until a feasible set of management objectives is identified. Complex land-use systems involving up to six land-uses and 10 indicators can be assessed. Outputs include optimal land-use strategies, associated indicator outcomes, the extent to which indicator objectives could be achieved, and statistical models relating each indicator to sectoral land-use rates.