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)


The new Brazilian Forest Code sets parameters for the maintenance and recovery of native vegetation and makes the Environmental Rural Registry (CAR) mandatory for all rural properties in the country. Thus, all the Permanent Preservation Areas (APP), Legal Reserve (RL) areas which must be preserved according to percentages specified by biome, and all Consolidated Areas opened for agricultural activities since 2008, must be recorded in CAR. This includes the bodies of water margins, hillsides, and hilltops. By October 2018, almost 5.4 million rural properties had already been registered in the SICAR online platform. The registered area is equivalent to 466 million hectares, which is more than thirteen times the size of Germany.

Despite major advances in registration numbers, there are still great challenges for the efficient implementation of environmental regularisation, especially regarding the validation of registration and the implementation of state Environmental Regularisation Programmes (PRA), which are designed to encourage rural producers to promote the recovery of their irregularly deforested areas. Producers need to develop and implement the Recomposition Projects of Degraded and Altered Areas (PRADA) to comply with forest legislation.


The project has strengthened the operational capabilities of the Brazilian Forest Service (SFB), with regard to environmental regularisation and rural management, and improved the implementation and use of environmental regularisation instruments in the pilot regions:   Acre, Amazonas, and Rondônia. It has moreover developed the competencies for the implementation of environmental regulation at the federal, state, and local levels.


Communications campaigns, training and exchanges of experiences are developed for the implementation of environmental regularisation in partnership with the MMA, SFB, state environmental bodies, NGOs, and research institutions. These actions include: 

  • recording in the Environmental Rural Registry through the SICAR online platform;
  • analysis and validation of the information recorded; 
  • joining the Environmental Regularisation Programmes (PRA) for the recovery of degraded areas; 
  • the development of individual projects for recovery under PRA (PRADA); 
  • future participation in the market for Environmental Reserve Quotas (CRA). 

Also, special attention is given to adapting this process to traditional populations, such as quilombolas, by encouraging and supporting the creation of new partnerships and participation of various actors such as local and municipal NGOs, the National Commission for the Sustainable Development of Traditional Peoples and Communities (CNPCT), quilombola organisations, and universities and research institutions, such as EMBRAPA. To be successful, the project supports the facilitation and integration of environmental regularisation in other territorial public policies. These include policies to support family farming and Technical Assistance and Rural Extension (TARE), agricultural credit, and land regularisation.

Starting in 2019, the project will incorporate part of the World Bank’s Forest Investment Program (FIP) portfolio in Brazil. Based on a 21 million US dollars co-financing from the World Bank, the project will integrate the activities of the FIP-Landscape Project, coordinated by SFB and the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food Supply (MAPA), which is responsible for the National Plan for Low Carbon Emission in Agriculture (ABC Plan).

Over the next five years, this new front aims to strengthen the simultaneous implementation of conservation and recovery/environmental recomposition practices, as foreseen in the Forest Code and the PRAs, as well as low-carbon agricultural practices in selected basins of the Brazilian Cerrado Biome. Other important partners are the National Rural Learning Service (SENAR), which will provide technical and managerial assistance to rural producers, EMBRAPA, the Ministry of Science, Technology, Innovation and Communications (MCTIC), through the National Institute of Space Technologies (INPE), and state environment bodies of the states in the Cerrado biome.


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)

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