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

April 17, 2017

Up Against the U.S./Mexico Border Wall

James Whitlow Delano

Mexicans call it The Wall of Shame. Few people north of the border ever ask, what does the wall look like from Mexico, not just to ordinary Mexicans but those whose homes literally touch the wall?

March 21, 2017

China's Frayed Perimeter

Howard W. French

Why, despite growing vastly richer and steadily more powerful over the last generation, has China remained frustrated in its goal of bringing Hong Kong and Taiwan under its unquestioned authority?

September 16, 2016

The End of Europe

Joshua Kucera

Examining the cultural, historical, and political meanings of Europe by traveling along its geographical border with Asia.

March 01, 2016

The Great Land Rush

Michael Peel, Tom Burgis, Pilita Clark

A race has begun for one of the world's most precious resources—land. Investors are pouring in billions. They promise progress, but land grabs can upend livelihoods and stir bitter conflict.

March 01, 2016

Environmental Martyrs

Fred Pearce

Murders of environmental and land rights campaigners are on the increase worldwide.

February 16, 2016

Boycott, Divest, Sanctions

Oren Rudavsky

On college campuses and in religious institutions across the country, there is renewed focus on Israel, anti-semitism and the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) movement.

A Journey to the Heart of 'Tropicapitalism'

It all started with the name “The Atlantic Conquest.” Who, in the 21st century, would think of such a name for a project to build a road through indigenous territory? Well, the Panamanian government did.

While Reporting "The Taking," Another Scandal

A local political power broker. A shady contract that poured taxpayer money into his pocket—and his family’s pockets. Our initial digging on the main project unearthed another important story.

Atlantic Conquest

A highway across indigenous territories is the first phase of a project that threatens one of the last primary forest reserves in the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor.  How is it that a Dutch businessman is about to achieve what Christopher Columbus could not?

Meet the Journalist: Uri Blau

Uri Blau used U.S. and Israeli tax records to connect the dots between American tax-exempt charities and their Israeli beneficiaries operating over the Green Line.