More than 8% of the Brazilian Amazon is illegally owned
June 14, 2008
More 42 than million hectares — eight percent — of the Brazilian Amazon is not legally owned, reports a study released last week by a national environmental NGO.
According to the Amazon Institute of People and the Environment (Imazon), a Belém-based group, these owners either hold informal titles to property, have acquired fraudulent documents or have grabbed unoccupied or unused land. The study said that these landowners do not pay pay taxes on the real estate, depriving the government of revenue.
The study, titled “Who Owns Amazonia?”, reported that 16 million hectares of forest land are illegally owned in the state of Pará. The figure in the state of Mato Grosso was 9.6 million hectares.
A run up in land prices, driven by surging soy and cattle production in the region, is contributing to land conflicts in the Brazilian Amazon. Irregular enforcement of laws, archaic land titling procedures, and rampant corruption at the state level, can make it difficult to distinguish legitimate owners of land from illegitimate ones in the region.
Quem é Dono da Amazônia: Uma análise do recadastramento de imóveis rurais. Barreto, P.; Pinto, A.; Brito, B. & Hayashi, S. (2008). Belém, Imazon: 74p. 2008.