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

Rainforest on Fire

On the front lines of Bolsonaro's war on the Amazon, Brazil's forest communities fight against climate catastrophe.

A Life Against Dams (Spanish)

Indigenous peoples and ribereños in the southern Brazilian Amazon are mobilizing to prevent the invasion of more than 138 hydroelectric structures in the Juruena River watershed that would exacerbate deforestation metrics throughout the region.

Bullet Ant Ritual: Indigenous Group Prepares to Reoccupy Land (Portuguese)

In February, a team of journalists traveled to the Amazon to spend time with the Sateré-Mawé, documenting their culture and their longstanding conflicts with mining companies and land thieves. Their series of reports examines the new threats posed to the Sateré and Indigenous groups throughout Brazil in the face of President Jair Bolsonaro's pro-ruralist policies.

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.

Meet the Journalist: Estacio Valoi

Oxpeckers Investigative Environmental Journalism's Estacio Valoi discusses Kruger's contested borderlands and how he overcame the challenges of reporting in a remote zone by using new media tools.

Meet the Journalist: Guido Bilbao

Panama is facing a serious environmental threat. Investigations have revealed a serious threat to Panama's natural resources that impacts the country's environment and people.