Conference Agenda

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Session Overview
06-10: Ensuring use of public land for public good
Wednesday, 27/Mar/2019:
10:30am - 12:00pm

Session Chair: Jorge Espinoza, GIZ, Brazil
Location: MC 10-100

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Social and human rights impact assessment for development project within Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Isaac Daniels

Sahmakum Teang Tnaut, Cambodia

The reclassification of a public space within Phnom Penh in order for it to be sold as part of a larger land package to a Chinese company has sparked concerns for the rights of the public to the commons and the possible impacts of its loss and re-development. A Social and Human Rights Impact Assessment was conducted and found the project could have a variety of negative social impacts, such as loss of livelihood for informal sector workers, and that human rights could be impacted upon through relocation of boat operators. The paper also outlines mitigation strategies to limit impacts, such as the relocation of boats to a nearby dock rather than a faraway location. An additional significance is that this research contributes to ownership of the city through proper public consultation, which is provided through consultation within the research and its subsequent publication.

The right of use on non-awarding state lands, an innovative tool for legal certainty regarding land tenure.

Elkin Caropresse, Margarita Varon


There is a new model of access to lands in Colombia by means of rights of use on non-awarding state lands; legal security is important to legitimize the state lands tenure located in this area for the development of legal activities. Those are the Forest Reserve Zones; playones and communal lands; and state lands located within a 1.500 miles ratio around the zone where non-renewable natural resources exploitation is being carried out.

The state set restrictions to ownership access, without making an appropriate management on these areas, without awareness of the territorial reality, without informing or socializing the actors, or proposing relocation or land titling before the restriction which generated social unrest among the inhabitants.

The agreement 058 of 2018 was created to address this situation allowing the state lands located in those areas to be awarded to its occupants by means of rights of use.

Stimulus for land grabbing and deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon

Brenda Brito1, Paulo Barreto1, Amintas Brandão Jr1,2, Sara Baima1, Pedro Henrique Gomes1

1Imazon, Brazil; 2University of Wisconsin, United States of America

We assessed the impact in the Brazilian Amazon of a 2017 land law that reinforces a mechanism for acquiring land rights historically linked to deforestation, since land grabbers clear the forest to signal land occupation and claim land rights. In particular, we assessed two significant potential impacts: i) the loss of government revenue due to the sale of public land below market prices and ii) the risk of future deforestation in 29.2 million hectares allocated to expand land privatization. The short term revenue loss ranges from U$ 5 to 8 billion for 8.6 million hectares; the future revenue loss ranges from U$ 23 to 34.1 billion for 29.2 million hectares; and between 1.3 to 2 million hectares would risk being deforested until 2027. The Brazilian government should review the decision about this area allocation; prioritize land allocation for conservation and, if selling part of this area, charge market prices.

Allocation of public land and the terra legal regularization program in the Brazilian Amazon

Bastiaan Reydon1, Gabriel Pansani1, Otavio Moreira2, Marcus Nascimento2, Jorge Espinoza3, Rogerio Cabral4, Elisa de Siqueira5

1Universidade Estadual de Campinas; 2SERFAL, Brazil; 3GIZ, Brazil; 4Nexucs; 5GITEC-IGIP GmbH

The Terra Legal Program was established in 2009 to address the problems related to the large amount of unallocated federal public lands in the legal Amazon, mostly through land tenure regularization for rural and urban families and allocation of land for specific purposes of public interest.

Since its beginning, Terra Legal has been subject of criticism claiming that the program may promote land grabbing and land concentration on the hands of big landlords.

This article shows that the beneficiaries have in fact been primarily small-scale farmers, through regularization of their tenure situation, the creation of settlements and the creation of protected areas.

In addition, the article compares the rules and mechanisms for the allocation of federal public lands with those adopted by the Federal States, showing that the federal legislation (Laws 11.952 and 13.465) is in fact more robust and comprehensive than the legislation used by the state land institutes.

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