first_imgArticle published by Glenn Scherer Provisional Measure (MP) 759, now converted into a bill called the Conversion Law Project (PLC) 12/16, would significantly alter the successful Terra Legal program, introduced originally in 2009. President Temer has until 22 June to sign the bill or veto it.The original program enabled peasant families to gain ownership of their small land plots. The new version introduces multiple loopholes to allow big, wealthy land owners to use the program, threatening small land owners and the environment, especially the Amazon.Analysts say the new law, if passed, will allow another 20 million hectares (77,200 square miles) of the Amazon biome and 40 million hectares (154,440 square miles) of the Cerrado (savanna) to be legally cleared.The bill ups the acreage claimable via the Terra Legal program, ends a rule allowing peasant families to delay paying for plots until the land is supported by adequate infrastructure, allows one farmer to acquire multiple plots, and ends a rule allowing peasant families to pay far less for their land than big farmers. A landless peasant occupation near highway BR 163 and the town of Novo Progresso in Pará state, Brazil. The Terra Legal program instituted in 2009 was meant to give landless peasants a chance to buy small plots of land. The altered Terra Legal program, as now proposed, would give large landowners a chance to dramatically increase their land holdings, likely leading to a major conversion of rainforest into grazing and crop lands. Photo by Thais BorgesThe political turmoil continues in Brasilia, as President Temer, having survived an attempt to impeach him in May, now fights off accusations made by the bosses at JBS, the world’s largest meat processing company, that he approved illegal payments to a leading politician.In the midst of the mayhem, Congress has aggressively moved forward a bill that would rejigger an existing government program meant to benefit landless peasants, in order to benefit wealthy land thieves wanting to get their hands on large areas of rural land in Brazil — particularly in Amazonia.Provisional Measure (MP) 759, now converted into a bill and called the Conversion Law Project (PLC) 12/16, would introduce significant alterations to an existing program called Terra Legal, introduced in 2009 by President Lula. President Temer has until 22 June to approve or to veto, wholly or partially, the new legislation.The Terra Legal program — originally touted as a means of enabling peasant families to gain ownership of their small land plots — had already been criticized for being widely used by the powerful to gain legal rights to public land they had stolen.Critics fear that the new law, if approved next week, will make the situation much worse, with calamitous impacts on the rural poor and the environment.If the revisions to the Terra Legal program are approved by President Temer next week, analysts say that anther 20 million hectares (77,200 square miles) of the Amazon biome and 40 million hectares (154,440 square miles) of the Cerrado (savanna) could legally be cleared. Photo by Rhett A. ButlerThe changes made by Congress, some introduced at a late stage by the bill’s rapporteur, Senator Romero Jucá, include extending the maximum size of individual irregular land occupations that can be regularized from 1,500 to 2,500 hectares (5.8 to 9.6 square miles). This increase makes it easier for big farmers and agribusiness to gain access to the land in agrarian reform settlements.Gerson Teixeira, president of the Brazilian Agrarian Reform Association (ABRA) and one of Brazil’s leading land experts, said that, by signing the law, President Temer would “in a single stroke of his pen” be “sounding the death knell for settlers and for Brazil’s public land.”Marco Antônio Delfino, Public Prosecutor in Mato Grosso do Sul state, and Juliana de Paula Batista, a lawyer with the NGO, Socioenvironmental Institute (ISA), said in a joint article that the law’s changes turned a program of land regulation into a program of land deregulation.Not all agree with this analysis. Federal Deputy Izalci Lucas, who played a big role moving the bill through Congress, said that Brazil now had “a law that is complete, definitive and fully discussed with society.” The deputy was largely referring to the impact of the measure in Brazil’s cities, where shanty-town dwellers, along with real estate companies, will gain some land ownership benefits.The revamped Terra Legal program could open the way for cattlemen and soy growers to make major land gains across the Amazon and Cerrado. Photo by Rhett A. ButlerOthers supporting the law were aware of the impact in the countryside, and a group of large landowners went to Brasilia to pressure the Senate for approval. Senator Hélio José, a leading member of the bancada ruralista, the agribusiness lobby in Congress, said the new law would mean the “end of deforestation,” adding that “We are going to make a grand Pact for Peace.”Despite the senator’s assertion, studies have shown that those areas where the Terra Legal Program had been most active have recorded the highest deforestation rates, creating fears that an extension of the program will accelerate forest cutting. Analysts say the program will allow another 20 million hectares (77,200 square miles) of the Amazon biome and 40 million hectares (154,440 square miles) of the Cerrado (savanna) to be legally cleared.There are also fears the new law will negatively impact Brazil’s agrarian reform settlements, many of which were set up due to pressure from Brazil’s globally known landless movement (MST).Gerson Teixeira said that the new law, if passed, will remove a stipulation that allowed peasant families to delay paying for their plots until the land is supported by adequate infrastructure. “Most of the settlements are in a precarious condition,” Teixeira said. “They don’t have rural credit or infrastructure. Some have existed for 20 years and don’t have a single well.”If peasant families must start paying for their plots immediately, many will have no option but to sell, because without rural credit and adequate roads, they can’t farm profitably, Teixeira added, “Big landowners want to get their hands on the 80 million hectares [308,882 square miles] given over to agrarian reform. Making settlers start paying for their plots will give agribusiness what it wants — land for sale.”A blue and yellow macaw. The rushed Terra Legal decision by the Temer administration and the Congress could do massive long term harm to Amazon biodiversity. Photo by Rhett A. ButlerAmong other changes, the new law would allow a single farmer to acquire multiple plots, something currently banned. As a result, land ownership will become more concentrated and the families losing their land will likely be forced deeper into the forest onto currently unoccupied lands and then clearing them, thus escalating the cycle of deforestation.The new law will also abolish the rule by which the National Institute for Colonization and Agrarian Reform (INCRA) allows settler families to pay much less for their land than big farmers. All now will pay the lower price, greatly benefiting big landowners. Delfino and Batista, give an example: “A land claimant legalizing an irregular occupation of up to 2,500 hectares in the district of Brasnorte in Mato Grosso will have the value per hectare it pays reduced from R$10,800 to R$1,100.” (US $3,294 to US $335.)According to Brazil’s Landless Movement (MST), the new law will “generate a progressive increase in social convulsion in the countryside.”Deborah Duprat, Prosecutor for Citizen Rights in the Office of the Attorney General (PFDC), commented: “Among numerous unconstitutional elements, MP 759, which was approved in the midst of protests, transfers into private hands an enormous stock of public land. With this, various policies that guarantee land for peoples, the environment and conservation units, are going to become completely compromised. We have to be prepare for a situation in the countryside where, as a result of the bankruptcy of public policies, violence will grow exponentially.”FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredcenter_img Agriculture, Amazon Agriculture, Amazon Conservation, Amazon Destruction, Amazon People, Amazon Soy, Cattle, Cattle Pasture, Cattle Ranching, Controversial, Corruption, Deforestation, Drivers Of Deforestation, Environment, Environmental Crime, Environmental Politics, Featured, Forests, Green, Indigenous Cultures, Indigenous Groups, Indigenous Peoples, Indigenous Rights, Industrial Agriculture, Infrastructure, Land Conflict, Land Grabbing, Land Rights, Land Use Change, Rainforest Deforestation, Rainforest Destruction, Rainforests, Saving The Amazon, Social Justice, Soy, Threats To The Amazon, Traditional People, Tropical Deforestation last_img