Issue

Land and Property Rights

Across the globe, rising demand for food, energy and natural resources such as timber, water, and minerals, has created enormous pressures on land— and access to it. Vast tracts of land are being snatched up by both public and private investors; most frequently in low-income and middle-income countries. The impact of these often secretive land deals on local communities is huge.

In frontier markets, where property rights are weak, unclear, or poorly governed, there is an increased likelihood of corruption, human rights abuses, conflict over resources, and environmental degradation. And it is often the most vulnerable groups, including minorities, indigenous people, the poor, and women, who bear the brunt of the problems created by poor land governance.

To investigate this growing crisis, Pulitzer Center-funded journalists are following stories that will increase transparency about land deals, expose weak land governance systems, and highlight the risks to stakeholders who invest in bad land deals. Their reporting illuminates fresh, new approaches to securing land rights that might promote, rather than erode, local development priorities.

The Pulitzer Center’s reporting on land rights issues is made possible through the support of the Omidyar Network's Property Rights Initiative, American Jewish World Service, the Kendeda Fund, and other Pulitzer Center donors.

 

 

 

 

Land and Property Rights

Taken: How Police Profit From Seized Property

A data-driven look at the impact of civil asset forfeiture reform laws throughout the Midwest.

For-Profit Policing in Kentucky

Kentucky has some of the weakest laws in the country when it comes to protecting property from seizure. The Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting examines why law enforcement is seizing so much property—and who's suffering.

China's Footprint in Pakistan

Will China's investment in Pakistan deliver the broad-based growth, prosperity, and jobs it promises? How will it reshape local politics, infrastructure, and the environment?

Nomads in Iran

This project focuses on the nomadic communities of southern Iran whose pastoral lifestyle—and access to rangeland that such a lifestyle depends on—is threatened.

In These Hills, Our Gods and Our Futures

In Odisha in eastern India, Arko Datto and Raghu Karnad cover the resistance of Dongria Kondh women to industrial interests that want to exploit their sacred hills for bauxite reserves.

A Journey Through Contested Lands: Tanzania

A moving photo essay about the Maasai in northeast Tanzania, who are struggling to make a living on ancestral lands that the government keeps trying to take away.

Meet the Journalist: Mark O'Connell

Mark O'Connell travels to New Zealand to investigate how an extremist libertarian manifesto from 1997 influenced Silicon Valley libertarians like Peter Thiel to acquire apocalypse boltholes in New Zealand.

Meet the Journalist: Jonas Bendiksen

Photographer Jonas Bendiksen traveled to Greenland to visualize its demographic challenges: As more women than men leave to study or live abroad, there are fewer than nine women for every 10 men.

This Week: Losing Earth

This week: the decade we almost stopped climate change, the U.S.-backed coalition in Yemen is paying Al-Qaeda militants, and Magnum photographers journey through six countries where indigenous people are fighting to keep the rights to their land.