More than 10,700 properties have had their registrations canceled in recent years in Pará in an attempt to combat land grabbing, but there is no information about the destination given to the land, which on paper covers an area equivalent to 73% of the state’s territory. .
The data are contained in the survey “Combating land grabbing in notary offices in Pará: a decade of advances and challenges”, launched this Monday (30). The study was conducted by researchers from UFPA (Federal University of Pará), IFPA (Federal Institute of Education, Science and Technology of Pará) and Imazon (Institute of Man and Environment of the Amazon).
Candidate to host the UN climate conference (United Nations) in 2025, Pará is the biggest deforester in the Amazon, and the illegal occupation of land is pointed out as one of the causes of the problem.
There is only one publicly known case of land repossession by the state government. This property alone has 386,000 hectares, which is more than twice the size of the city of São Paulo.
The researchers pored over thousands of documents and found that at least 10,728 properties in 88 of the 144 municipalities of Pará had their registrations canceled since 2010.
That year, the CNJ (National Council of Justice) determined the administrative cancellation (without the need for a lawsuit) of all property registrations with a size above the limit area permitted by the Federal Constitution —that is, registered between 1934 and 1964 with more than 10 thousand hectares; registered from 1964 to 1988 with more than 3,000 hectares; and registered since October 1988 with more than 2,500 hectares. Such properties need authorization from the National Congress to open the registration.
The measure also reached records made from dismembered areas of these properties. For example, if a property registration of 20 thousand hectares had been dismembered and resulted in two registrations, one of 14 thousand hectares and another of 6,000 hectares, both would be affected by the measure.
As a result, the equivalent of 91.12 million hectares was cancelled, an area impossible to be legalized, considering that, according to data from Incra (National Institute for Colonization and Agrarian Reform), private properties occupy 10.5% of the state ( 12.8 million hectares).
In other words, the CNJ’s action canceled many enrollments that were the result of land grabbing. Part of the land never existed and others were unduly enlarged in the documentation. For example, in 332 properties whose geographic information was located by the researchers, there were 46,155 hectares more than what was declared on paper.
In these 332 properties, 34% of the forest area had already been deforested by 2020. On the other hand, 1.5 million hectares were of primary forests. “In case these properties do not prove their regularity and the title cancellation situation continues, we are dealing, in practice, with an area of public forest equivalent to ten times the city of São Paulo”, state the authors.
For the researchers, it is essential that the TJ-PA (Court of Justice of Pará) inform which properties were the target of the decision, how many were regularized and how many still need to be repossessed and allocated. Wanted by the report, the court said it will not manifest itself at this time.
“To make progress on this particular type of theft of public land, which is the issue of fraudulent registrations, there are still steps that need to happen: greater transparency about what happened to these properties after cancellation and, for those areas that were eventually retaken by governments , understand what was done”, evaluates Brenda Brito, a researcher at Imazon and one of the authors of the study.
She explains that, without this information, investors in reforestation activities and in the carbon credit market can be deceived, leading to a lack of incentive to invest resources.
“In general, there is a lack of knowledge of what a canceled title means. Cases are reported of carbon projects that are carried out in areas like this, public, that were registered illegally and should not be used in any long-term investment initiative” , adds Brito.
The researchers recommend digitizing documents from property registry offices; inspection of registry offices; that entities such as the Public Prosecutor’s Office have a list of canceled enrollments and can monitor the processes; and the search for partnerships between the institutions involved to speed up the outcome.
“The cancellation of the title is not enough to punish and discourage the continuation of this type of land grabbing. It is necessary that the public power promotes the proper destination of the area”, state the authors.
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