Legal protection over the Brazilian carbon stocks
Paper in proceedings, 2018
Brazilian native vegetation stands as one of the largest global carbon storages. Here is also where most of the emissions related to land use change take place, mostly driven by agricultural expansion. Policies of incentives and support to avoid deforestation are expected to play a significant role to improve the effectiveness of the prevailing command and control regulation and expand the protection of carbon stocks in the native vegetation. However, the limited available resources require wise targeting policies that maximise the outcomes regarding carbon protection. In this study, we conducted a quantitative assessment of the effect of command and control regulations in the protection of above-ground carbon (AGC) stocks employing a land use policy assessment (LUPA) model. The model enabled the construction of a land tenure dataset of national coverage and modelled the effects of the major pieces of land use legislation in the protection of AGC stocks. The outcomes suggest that roughly 70% of the AGC stock in Brazil is protected and additional 20% is expected to be protected after the tenure regularisation process of undesignated land. Private territory sustains about 30% of the AGC stocks, half within small or medium sized private properties which represent 98% of the Brazilian landholders and the other half in the 2% larger properties. Roughly 20% of the AGC in private land is under command and control protection, and the remaining 10% is unprotected. We argued that targeting policy may prioritise the unprotected AGC stocks; however, different biomes may require different policy settings considering the specificity of each biome.