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Brazil's government commits 952,000 hectares for Amazon conservation

Criado em 10/09/13 15h54 e atualizado em 10/09/13 15h56
Por Ana Cristina Campos Edição:s Fonte:Agência Brasil

Brasília – The Amazon Legal Land Program (“Programa Terra Legal Amazônia”), which is run by the Brazilian Ministry for Agrarian Development, has reassigned 952,000 hectares of federal land located in the state of Amazonas to be incorporated into protection areas under the Ministry for the Environment. The ministers for Agrarian Development, Pepe Vargas, and the Environment, Izabella Teixeira, passed the land-use assignment act on Monday (September 9).

The land is located in a thick, remote forest area in Maués, western Amazonas, and will be destined for sustainable use and environmental conservation. It covers the areas of Parauari, with 472,000 hectares, and Urupadi, with 480,000 hectares.

“It's quite an innovation to gain title to land in order to create conservation units for sustainable use, instead of creating them randomly as they did in the past, which resulted in complex, intricate social and environmental liabilities. This is one of the world's most important locations for primate conservation,” Izabella Teixeira said.

The reassignment efforts emanate from the Technical Committee on Land-Use Assignment and Tenure of Federal Public Land in the Amazon, a panel established for the mission of streamlining allocation of federal land to federal government agencies and to the states, thus helping prevent deforestation by maintaining a strong government presence in the Amazon.

“The technical committee is an important milestone in overcoming red tape. It was designed to identify potential conflicts of interests over areas that belong to the State and their purpose,” said the Environment minister.

Altogether, the Brazilian Amazon covers 59 million hectares of State-owned land pending assignment across nine states – Acre, Amazonas, Amapá, Mato Grosso, Maranhão, Pará, Rondônia, Roraima, and Tocantins. Out of this total, about 39 million hectares are forest areas.

The secretary for Amazon Land Tenure under the Ministry for Agrarian Development, Sérgio Lopes, reported that 1,500 plots are awaiting assignment, which is expected to be accomplished within the next two years. “Deforestation occurs mainly in unassigned, unregistered areas. Legal tenure is the best way to ensure legal certainty and peace in the countryside,” Lopes said.

Created in 2009, the Legal Land Program was designed to ensure legal tenure and land-use assignment for land located in federal public areas in the Brazilian Amazon. Part of the land will be allocated for agrarian reform.

Editors: Nádia Franco / Nira Foster
Translator: Mayra Borges

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