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MENDONÇA, MARIA LUISA, ALTAMIRAN RIBEIRO, GERARDO CERDAS VEGA EMMANUEL PONTE, and DOUGLAS HERTZLER
Rede Social de Justiça e Direitos Humanos, Brasil
Comissão Pastoral da Terra, Piaui, Brasil
ActionAid Brasil
ActionAid USA

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Paper prepared for presentation at the
“2019 WORLD BANK CONFERENCE ON LAND AND POVERTY” The World Bank - Washington DC, March 25-29, 2019

 

Copyright 2019 by author(s). All rights reserved. Readers may make verbatim copies of this document for non-commercial purposes by any means, provided that this copyright notice appears on all such copies.
Abstract

In 2015 the World Bank approved loans of $320 million to support “Pillars of Growth and Social Inclusion" in the state of Piauí, where the Brazilian government announced its MATOPIBA project to expand large-scale soybean production. A key part of the loans includes support for land titling. However, the project needs to address unrecognized conflicts, namely the grabbing of community commons, public lands and water by large scale farmers and ranchers. This paper analyzes the human rights, land rights, and environmental issues at stake, and reports on the status of community concerns and progress toward recognizing, protecting and recovering the land rights of marginalized communities. Finally, the paper distills key recommendations for institutions and governments to meet their human rights obligations and protect community land rights in line with the United Nations Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests (VGGTs).