Stimulus for land grabbing and deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon

Stimulus for land grabbing and deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon

Brito, B., Barreto, P., Brandão Jr, A., Baima, S., Gomes, P. H. Stimulus for land grabbing and deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon. Enviromental Research Letters. Accepted Manuscript.

 

Abstract: We assessed the impact on the Brazilian Amazon of a 2017 land law that reinforces a mechanism for acquiring land rights historically linked to deforestation, since land grabbers clear the forest to signal land occupation and claim land rights. In particular, we assessed two significant potential impacts: i) the loss of government revenue due to the sale of public land below market prices and ii) the risk of future deforestation and associated CO2 emissions in 19.6 million hectares allocated to expand land privatization. The short term revenue loss ranges from U$ 5 to 8 billion for 8.6 million hectares; the future revenue loss ranges from U$ 16.7 to 23.8 billion for 19.6 million hectares; and between 1.1 to 1.6 million hectares would risk being deforested until 2027, which could emit 4.5 to 6.5 megatonnes of CO2. The Brazilian government should review the decision about this area allocation; prioritize land allocation for conservation and, if selling part of this area, charge market prices.

Keywords: Brazilian Amazon – Deforestation – Land prices – Land tenure

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