Land and environmental management – Cadastro Ambiental Rural (CAR)

Project description

Title: Land and environmental management – Cadastro Ambiental Rural (CAR)
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Brazil
Lead executing agency: Serviço Florestal Brasileiro (Brazilian Forest Service); Ministério do Meio Ambiente (Ministry of the Environment – MMA)
Overall term: 2014 to 2020

Brazil. GPS device (© GIZ / Elisa Siqueira)


Protecting Brazil's forests remains a challenge. Although the deforestation rates in Brazil have decreased by more than 80 per cent since 2004, an area double the size of Luxembourg is still being cleared every year in the Amazon region alone.

The new Brazilian Forest Code of 2012 stipulates rules for the protection and restoration of natural forests on rural land. All landowners and land users are obliged to register themselves in the environmental registry (Cadastro Ambiental Rural – CAR) and provide information in electronic form about the use of their land. The registry is designed to help the Brazilian authorities enforce compliance with forest protection legislation. In addition, the federal states define their own natural forest restoration programmes depending on the specific regional ecosystem.

The registration of rural properties in the registry has made considerable progress. According to data recorded on the online platform SICAR, there were more than 3.7 million entries by July 2016. More than 383 million hectares of land have been recorded in the system – an area more than ten times the size of Germany. Despite this progress, there are still major obstacles to verifying the information provided by the landowners and initiating the next steps in environmental regulation.


The Brazilian Government controls deforestation in the Amazon region more effectively and restores degraded areas. Forests – with their key functions for preserving biodiversity and mitigating global climate change – are effectively protected.


The project promotes the steering capacity of Brazil's forestry authority and the rural development secretariat. It builds the capacity for environmental regulation at federal, state and local level.

In cooperation with partners in the Ministry of the Environment, the environmental bodies of the federal states, local non-governmental organisations and research institutes, the project designs campaigns to publicise the environmental registry.

In the pilot region where the states of Acre, Amazonas and Rondônia meet, the environmental regulation instruments are to be used more effectively. To this end, training modules are being prepared covering the various implementation steps:

  • Registration in the environmental registry on the online platform SICAR
  • Analysis and validation of the information entered
  • Joining the environment programmes to restore degraded areas; developing individual restoration projects
  • Participation in the planned market for trading forest certificates

In addition to training and communication campaigns, the project also supports events at which stakeholders can share information and experience. It also plays a key role in developing more user-friendly IT modules on the online platform SICAR.


Environmental regulation for traditional population groups. In order to take account of traditional population groups, which often use their land on a communal basis, in the environmental registry, a module has been developed for the SICAR platform that allows communal areas of land to be registered. A training strategy for representatives of traditional population groups is currently being devised.

Access to remote areas. The 'mutirão integrado' is a kind of mobile town hall in which services are offered for citizens locally. At the same time, citizens can receive help to register in the land registry and submit enquiries to clarify ownership issues. The innovative approach reduces the efforts required by all concerned, increases the degree of accuracy of the georeferenced data and strengthens the presence of the state in remote areas of the Amazon region.

Brazil. Meeting on the environmental registry (© GIZ / Elisa Siqueira)