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Secure and well-defined rural property rights are an essential tool for effective natural resource management, as well as for economic growth. Moreover, with the new Brazilian Forest Code dependent on the compliance of landholders, well-defined property rights have become increasingly important to Brazil’s efforts to enhance the conservation of its native vegetation.

Today, however, Brazil lags behind much of the world in providing secure and well-defined property rights. To contribute to this debate, researchers at Climate Policy Initiative (CPI/ PUC-Rio) conducted an analysis providing an in-depth look at the evolution of rural property rights in Brazil and the history that has shaped the complex situation the nation now faces.

“Land regularization in Brazil is an urgent issue policymakers need to address,” says Juliano Assunção, executive director of CPI in Brazil and professor in the Department of Economics at PUC-Rio. “Insecure property rights cause serious consequences that reverberate well beyond land management issues, such as deforestation, land-related conflicts, underdeveloped land rental markets, and inefficient investment decisions in properties.”

The complexity of the problems related to insecure rural property rights make it difficult for policymakers and stakeholders to know where to begin to target their efforts. In this study, CPI/ PUC-Rio researchers outline several policy recommendations, divided into four focus areas:


– Streamline the processes of property rights regularization;

– Centralize all rural cadastres under CNIR (Cadastro Nacional de Imóveis Rurais);


– Improve mechanisms and processes for monitoring and enforcing land rights for different land categories;

– Introduce innovation and technology to advance the identification, monitoring and protection of existing rights;

– Create explicit administrative procedures for faster cancellation of property titles of illegally grabbed lands;


– Pass specific rules to determine the application of the Forest Code;


– Introduce meaningful and rigorous evaluations of current land titling and property rights programs and interventions;

– Research the perspective of landholders to gain insights to how and why they value titling and what influences their demand.

The recommendations are detailed in the report, which also performs a stakeholder analysis of organizations that deal with property rights in Brazil.

The report is part of a series of studies on rural property rights in Brazil conducted by CPI/ PUC-Rio and supported by the Omidyar Network. See the other publications at:

Insecure Land Rights in Brazil: Consequences for Rural Areas and Challenges for Improvement

Panorama dos direitos de propriedade do Brasil rural: legislação, gestão fundiária e Código Florestal [n Portuguese only]



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