New Working Paper (in German): “Land grabbing in Amazonia for beginners. Private appropriation of land for forest protection” by Maurício Torres

Working Paper 15

Land grabbing in Amazonia for beginners. Private appropriation of land for forest protection (in German)

by Maurício Torres; shortened German translation by Thomas Fatheuer

Forest protection in Amazonia is expected to succeed through the conversion of public land into private property. Maurício Torres illustrates the perils of this strategy through an analysis of the land legalization program Terra Legal and the environmental land register CAR (Cadastro Ambiental Rural). He shows, firstly, that market-based strategies of forest protection fall short in attaining their objectives. They focus on better agricultural practices and therefore deny the economic significance of land speculation. Secondly, he demonstrates that legal environmental protection relying on private appropriation of land can be a tool of land grabbing itself. Thereby, illegal practices are not only tolerated or granted amnesty; they also serve as the basis for new laws. Thirdly, his historical contextualization underlines the centuries-old continuities of land grabbing practices, which can be traced back to colonial times and are merely becoming technically more refined.