Agrarian and Environmental Law on the Ground: Elaboration of capacity building modules & manuals for conflict-struck regions in rural Amazonia
Justification: Clarifying and securing land tenure rights is considered a cornerstone for improving environmental governance (Pacheco/Benatti 2015). In recent years the Brazilian government has increased efforts to elaborate and implement legal instruments and laws to enhance sustainable development in the Amazon region and to reduce environmental impacts from agricultural development and deforestation (such as e.g. Terra legal e CAR).
Yet, for local landholders in the Brazilian Amazon, legal environmental constraints and agrarian legislation in many cases appear as intransparent, illegitimate, inadequate and hardly understandable. In this topic area of complex land appropriation and land use such state of uncertainty leads to contradictory realities. Concepts as “law” as well as “state” often appear as enemies of self-made livelihoods. Keeping this in mind, the long pathway towards the establishment of law as a transparent, legitimate, adequate and understandable mediator in conflictive rural Amazonia becomes evident.
Objective: The aim of the project is to elaborate, test, improve and disseminate interactive teaching modules and manuals on Agrarian and Environmental Law for different land-user groups in rural Amazônia. The following four project objectives will be strived for:
Methodology: Didactically, five modules should achieve two goals: 1. to initiate the discussion on the role and function of law and thereby develop an empowered citizens’ perspective on its application; 2. to convey solid knowledge on the legal situation and the organizational hierarchy and competencies of implementation agencies to landholders and responsible land and environmental agencies.
The beneficiaries would be farmers and cattle ranchers of all size and their respective institutional representatives, traditional populations and fishermen interested in widening their understanding of the topic. All through the process a gender perspective will be actively integrated (FAO 2010). In how far different stakeholder-groups could be mixed or should be separated per category depends on the local situation (conflict-prone or peaceful). – Concrete methods: project seminar, summer school, field studies, elaboration and testing of modules, adaptation of modules, dissemination workshop, scientific symposium.
Partners/involved actors: Involved University Institutes on the Brazilian side would be the Institute of Juridical Science (ISJ) at Federal University of Pará (UFPA), the UNICAMP of São Paulo; on the German side it would be the Latin American Institute of Freie Universität Berlin. Possible multiplier-institutions we are in contact with could be the UFOPA of Santarém/Pará, the rural campus of UFPA in Marabá, the University of SINOP and capacity building courses of agrarian schools (e.g. Casa Rural), FETAGRI, CNS, EMATER, FAMATO, APRONOP, Aprosoja etc. To realize the elaboration, testing and dissemination of such modules and manuals, we pretend to involve Brazilian and German Master and PhD-students who are able and willing to contribute in the pre-studies as well as the necessary field-work. We plan MA-project seminars on both sides to process the legislation and the didactics towards application. To be able to do so in a meaningful way, we would integrate the Amazonian case into a broader scientific and political debate on the interfaces and contradictions of agrarian and environmental law on the ground. Both sides would meet to kick-off the project, for an initial workshop in Berlin and to kick-off field-research in Belém or Santarém and then carry out field-research together.
Products: Interactive teaching modules comprising two levels: land-user level (ready) & land administrator level (1st version); both in various didactic formats, e.g. on an USB-stick (blended learning, with software as e.g. LECTORA) that is able to interact with the internet, if available, or as podcasts; policy brief, joint scientific publications, master-theses in Brazil and in Germany.
We, the Brazilian and German applicants (Benatti, Fischer / Costa, Schönenberg) look back on a long common trajectory of research in different regions of the Brazilian Amazon (see c.v.’s); hence, we know about the need, the difficulties and the challenges of the proposed endeavour.
Lehre: 33930 – MA-Kolloquium (I und II) WS 2015 - Die Rolle von Land- und Umweltrecht bei der Bearbeitung von Landnutzungskonflikten: Amazonien, Brasilien – R. Schönenberg (LAI) – Kooperationspartner: Prof. Dr. José Heder Benatti, Prof. Dr. Luly Rodrigues da Cunha Fischer (ICJ/UFPA)