Terra Legal Program

Amid the chaos, Congress aggressively introduced a bill that would undo an existing government program designed to help landless farmers help wealthy rural thieves who want to get their hands on vast swaths of rural land in Brazil — particularly in the Amazon. The insufficiently clarified rights of ownership, use and disposal of federal and state states as well as private property in the Amazon region constitute a major problem for the protection and sustainable use of tropical forests and thus for the preservation of global biodiversity and climate assets (reduction of greenhouse gas emissions). The resulting speculation on agricultural land is one of the main causes of illegal logging in tropical forests, along with still insufficient control of the environment and the dynamics of agricultural prices on the market. Interim Measure (MP) 759, now converted into law and called Conversion Law Project (PLC) 12/16, would make significant changes to an existing program called Terra Legal introduced by President Lula in 2009. President Temer has until June 22 to approve all or part of the new law or veto it. Political turmoil in Brasilia continues as President Temer, who survived an indictment attempt in May, now fights accusations by bosses of JBS, the world`s largest meat processing company, that he approved illegal payments to a prominent politician. This article estimates the early impact of Terra Legal, a major reform of property rights, on deforestation and agriculture in the Brazilian Amazon. Twelve and a half million hectares, or more than 2.5% of the Brazilian Amazon, have been registered under this program. The creation of property rights may provide a farmer with more incentive to invest in his land and expand his farm because of a lower risk of expropriation. On the other hand, enforcement of conservation requirements may be easier if farmers have legal rights to their land. We use county-level data from 2007 to 2012 on agricultural registrations, deforestation, crop selection and livestock management to test the impact of Terra Legal`s agrarian reform. Although we do not see any overall impact of the program on deforestation during the period of our sample, we show that there is significant heterogeneity of impacts between counties. The counties with the largest area recorded have an increase in the area deforested, but they also have a decrease in the rate of deforestation.

We examine the extent to which changes in deforestation are related to the number of records that occur on small, medium and large farms and find limited support for less deforestation in counties with more land registered by small farms. More land registered by large farms is associated with a higher degree of deforestation, but a lower rate of deforestation. Our findings suggest that land tenure reform can create incentives to slow deforestation. The size of the farm has a strong influence on management changes caused by improved property rights. Combining land reforms with incentives to intensify production rather than expand could lead to less deforestation, especially on small farms. Land tenure security and regularization have an impact on the environment • Land occupations registered with Terra Legal showed a reduction in deforestation during the programme • Implementation of the programme is expected to continue, but changes in eligibility, such as updating staffing needs, would require further studies. LFG was founded in January by Terra creator Terraform Labs with a mandate to protect the $1 anchor of terraUSD (UST), Terra`s ill-fated algorithmic stablecoin. LFG`s treasury was loaded with nearly $4 billion in Bitcoin and other currencies, but it “loaned” virtually all of those funds to OTC trading companies in May to bail out UST when it collapsed. It remains unclear to whom and how these funds were distributed. Despite the senator`s claim, studies have shown that areas where the Terra Legal program has been most active have experienced the highest rates of deforestation, raising concerns that expanding the program will accelerate deforestation.

Analysts say the program will legally clean an additional 20 million hectares (77,200 square miles) of the Amazon biome and 40 million hectares (154,440 square miles) of the Cerrado (savannah). The National Terra Legal Programme contributes to solving the problem of land ownership. The programme has been in place since 2009 and provides for the allocation of 59 million hectares of Federation land in the Amazon to about 200,000 family farms that were previously informal users of public land. However, overlapping institutional competences in public land management, institutional capacity deficits and inefficient instruments mean that land titling procedures are very slow. With about 200,000 legitimate claims to ownership and use of family farms expected in areas of the federal state, only 8,670 land titles, or about 4% of certified land titles, could be awarded.