Soybean plantation on the outskirts of the city of Macapa
Land in Brazil’s least developed state is being illegally redistributed to large-scale agribusiness, threatening a wave of deforestation, according to a farmers’ rights group.
Sisto Hagro, a Catholic Priest who works for the Pastoral Land Commission (CPT), told the Guardian that the state of Amapá is redistributing land bestowed on it by the federal government and moving existing smallholders to promote large-scale agribusiness, then legitimising its actions by changing state law.
According to CPT research, businesses and speculators have, in just three years, registered more than 1,000 plots, making up 828,000 hectares land, which was earmarked by federal government for smallholders but not registered. Hagro told the Guardian he believes it will be converted to soya or eucalyptus plantations for export.
The Guardian reports that although nearly 70% f the land is protected for indigenous groups or conservation, its pristine forests and conservation areas are being opened up to dams, gold mining and mega-projects.
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