Amazon land giveaway outrages conservationists

·Government says bill will help control deforestation[!!!]
BRASILIA - A law expected to be approved by Brazil's Congress granting 1.2 million people and numerous companies titles to a huge chunk of the Amazon rain forest could provoke a new wave of land-grabbing and deforestation, conservationists warn.
Over three decades, settlers, farmers and speculators have occupied, stolen and sold state land they did not legally own, fueling the destruction of about a fifth of the world's largest rain forest. Land titles are often nonexistent or fake.
But the bill has provoked outrage among environmental groups, which see it as a major setback to efforts to protect the forest. They say there are contradictions and flaws in the bill that will fuel deforestation.
"Giving away land is an incentive for deforestation, it makes it even cheaper than it already is to clear forest for pasture rather than recover abandoned land," said Brenda Brito, executive director at the research institute Imazon.
The bill, which was approved by the lower house of Congress last week but requires approval in the Senate, would grant more than 1.2 million people land titles totaling nearly 100 million hectares (247 million acres), an area almost the size of France and Spain.
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