Report: Evolution of land rights in Brazil


Worked collaboratively with client to help write, complete, and polish groundbreaking report how insecure land rights challenge the peaceful and efficient transfer of property in rural Brazil.


Brazil has an important role to play in addressing the global threats of climate change and food insecurity given its vast natural resources and role as a leading agricultural producer. Secure and well-defined rural property rights are an essential tool for effective natural resource management, as well as for economic growth. Today, however, Brazil lags behind much of the world in providing secure and well-defined property rights. In 2016, it ranked 64th on the International Property Rights Index (IPRI). It ranked even lower, at 80th, for secure property rights on the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Global

Competitive Index (Figure 1).

Climate Policy Initiative (CPI) has conducted a series of studies, supported by the Omidyar Network, that take an in-depth look at the evolution of rural land

rights in Brazil, the problems entrenched in the system as a result of this history,

and the challenges posed by the current governing structure. The first published

report in this series, “Insecure Land Rights in Brazil: Consequences for Rural

Areas and Challenges for Improvement,” looked at challenges and consequences

of the current system. The second report, “Panorama of Property Rights in

Rural Brazil: Legislation, Regularization and the Forest Code” (available only in

Portuguese), analyzed the legislative framework around property rights and

land regularization and identified areas for action. This final report, “Evolution

of Land Rights in Rural Brazil: Frameworks for Understanding, Pathways for

Improvement,” summarizes the current rural land structure and the main

challenges to improving land rights security. It analyzes the goals and activities

of organizations working in Brazil to address the situation, provides a critical

framework to understand the problems at hand, and maps recommendations for

how to begin improving property rights in Brazil.

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