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We seek to make our land information model an integrated base of information

Carlos Guedes, President, National Institute for Agrarian Colonization, Brazil
Carlos Guedes
National Institute for Agrarian Colonization, Brazil

There are many countries which have started initiatives in property management but they do not have the size and diversity of Brazil, says Carlos Guedes, President, National Institute for Agrarian Colonization, Brazil

What are the main challenges faced by the National Institute for Agrarian Colonization (INCRA) in the process of land administration?
One of our biggest challenges is the size of Brazil. A number of countries have started initiatives in property management but they do not have the size of our country. Besides, we have at least five completely different biomes, and each regional reality and environment must be properly observed. If we can compare in terms of coverage… for instance, we have joined the textual and the cartographic records, and our coverage is much higher than countries like Germany and France. This demonstrates the rigor and complexity of our initiative.

We aim to not only expand the mapping information of our entire basic textual records, but also integrate land registry information with others such as environmental records. Brazil recently approved a new Forestry General Law which is expected to create a rural environmental registry. We plan to connect these two with the real estate registry, which will be done under the supervision of the judiciary in our country. The real challenge then is to integrate these three different cadastres with the taxation department.

Earlier this year, INCRA announced some changes in the land management system with the implementation of a new automated system for land certification. How is this system faring?
The entire land certification process will be automated by June. The first step in this direction was the development of a land management system, which will host online the survey measurements made by geological professionals. This is a significant advancement in the history of INCRA in property certification. Already the INCRA webpage gives access to all the ‘legally ok’ properties. Only a few countries in the world offer such public information. In the second half of the year, we will come up with more such innovations as we make the land management system fully operational. This will also allow us to provide services to farmers, generate knowledge about the Brazilian agrarian sector, and ultimately direct public policies. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, which is pushing a debate on rural governance and governance of land, had recently cited Brazil as one of the most advanced countries in terms of adherence to its voluntary guidelines.

INCRA has partnerships with the Army and environment ministry. there could also be a partnership with the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics for the use of its maps. How have these cross-department partnerships helped?
We have a long-standing partnership with the Brazilian Army, which has helped us in land certification. The certification process is a basic requirement for any owner to make any kind of movement in the dominion of property registries and we can greatly speed up this service through our partnership with the Brazilian Army.

We have also begun to forge partnerships with the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply, which has developed a management platform that works with agricultural elements such as bovine traceability and animal quality conditions, especially on the rebound of exports, and we are connecting that with land information. Also, our partnership with the Ministry of Environment will help in the development of the Rural Environmental Registry. The idea is to give environmental regulation work access to INCRA’s National Rural Registration so that the procedure is simplified and brings quality information to environment agencies. INCRA is strictly following the guidelines of the National Spatial Data Infrastructure (INDE) developed by the Brazilian government to speed up the integration effort of base information.

How is the work progressing on developing a management platform for agricultural georeferencing of rural properties?
The Ministry of Agriculture can give finer details on that. But what is unique about this partnership is that INCRA is riding with the Ministry of Agriculture and it will be possible to join the elements of agricultural management platform with the issue of land ownership information .

How much progress has been made on the multipurpose cadastre project which will be in partnership with the Ministry of Cities?
In Brazil, the Ministry of Agrarian Development is responsible for rural land planning, and the Ministry of Cities for urban land planning. The goal is to integrate these two efforts. Brazil has evolved from a perspective in which the municipal masterplans and the zoning of all projects have been incorporating different dimensions of development — social, economic, environmental — and these cadastres will help in improving the implementation of public policies. By combining the rural and urban outlook, we hope to offer an integrated foundation to municipalities and states that can then be a one-stop address for these different dimensions.

Therefore, the task that lies with us today is to fundamentally evolve the rural information-based textual and cartographic records, and create a new environment.