Amazon Forest Rule of Law: Landgrabbing, Deforestation and Amnesties in Brazil

Since 2012 Brazil has weakened forest protection laws and policies. Even though deforestation is rising due to agriculture and cattle ranching, landgrabbing may be a more significant driver. While 33% of the Brazilian Amazon lacks clear property rights as government land, organized groups illegally occupy land, expel indigenous people (when in the way), plant grass, raise cattle, and request land titles while lobbying for amnesty. The process is profitable and perpetuates a cycle of crime. Solutions include increasing recognition of indigenous lands, protecting biodiversity hotspots, improving landgrabbing penalties, expanding criminal investigations, and advancing transparency of land tenure regularization processes, without which law enforcement and proper land management is impossible. As a researcher for Imazon (Institute of Man and Environment of the Amazon), Brenda Brito presents about these issues and supports the campaign “Be Legal With the Amazon” (or in Portuguese: Seja Legal com a Amazônia ). To learn more, visit: Be Legal with the Amazon / Seja Legal com a Amazônia and Imazon (Institute of Man and Environment of the Amazon)