Project led by IPAM and Iterpa aims to promote the implementation of modern, robust, transparent and sustainable land tenure governance

Photo: Tom Fisk 

To help implement a modern and robust land tenure reform management model in the state of Pará, Fundo Vale is supporting an innovative initiative through a partnership with the Amazon Environmental Research Institute (IPAM) and the Pará Land Institute (Iterpa). The aim of the project is to strengthen and consolidate land governance in Pará, promoting legal, territorial and social security. As a result, land-use planning in this Amazonian state will facilitate the expansion of initiatives aimed at protecting and restoring areas of habitat. 

“The lack of land tenure reform is one of the major barriers to social and environmental development in the Amazon. This partnership is strategic for Fundo Vale, as land-use planning in Pará will help more rural producers and traditional communities benefit from bioeconomy initiatives and agroforestry arrangements that generate income, keep the forest standing and help mitigate the climate crisis,” explains Márcia Soares, Fundo Vale’s Amazon and partnerships manager. 

Around 69% of Pará is owned by the federal government and another 27% is under state government control, so it faces challenges that require integrated action from the different bodies working in this area. Land tenure uncertainty is one of these challenges. It facilitates illegal land appropriation, makes it difficult to combat illegal deforestation, generates legal uncertainty and often leads to violent land conflicts and environmental degradation. 

“There are many challenges to be overcome, but a lot of them can be overcome with the help of technology,” says Bruno Kono, the president of Iterpa. The institute has created the Land Registration and Land Tenure Reform System (SICARF), the first land tenure reform tool in Brazil. “Our idea was not just to eliminate paper, but to make the analysis of these processes automated. For citizens, what matters is the land title, but for the state, land-use planning is fundamental in order to be able to look at the whole picture,” he explains. 

Since 2020, IPAM has been collaborating with Iterpa to develop solutions to improve procedural analysis and legal instruments of land tenure policy in the state of Pará. The aim is to improve land tenure governance mechanisms in a transparent, fair and equitable way, as well as strengthening institutional coordination and spaces for social participation. 

According to Raquel Rodrigues Poça, a public policy analyst at IPAM, the project will work to strengthen government structures to promote the application of land tenure policy in a robust and transparent manner. “In recent years, Pará has repositioned its actions in implementing land tenure reform policy with a focus on using agile technologies. To this end, it has developed its own registration and procedural analysis system, made continuous improvements and management enhancements, and remodeled its legal framework to meet new demands. However, there are still challenges to be overcome, such as the recovery of public lands and the expansion of decision-making and social participation spaces,” she argues.