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

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.

January 12, 2016

Indigenous Rights in the Wake of Chile's Energy Crisis

Max Radwin

One decade ago, the Pehuenche indigenous people in Chile were forced off their land and into housing projects, forcing most to revise their way of life. Max Radwin explores how they have fared since.

December 07, 2015

From the U.S. to Israel: Follow the Money

Uri Blau

U.S. administration defines Jewish settlements as an obstacle to peace, yet allows millions in subsidized donations to help sustain them. How does it work? Investigative journalist Uri Blau digs deep.

November 19, 2015

The Corporate Balkanization of Nation States

Matt Kennard, Claire Provost

Control over its territory has always been considered the fundamental characteristic of the state itself. What happens when historic levels of territory are given over to corporate interests?

June 04, 2015

From Paradise to Peril: The Amazon's Isolated Tribes

Heather Pringle, Andrew Lawler

Some of the world’s last isolated tribes are poised to make contact with the outside world as illegal loggers, miners, cocaine traffickers and others penetrate their territory.

April 14, 2015

What Came of Libya’s ‘Land Grab’ in Mali?

Chris Arsenault

In 2009, Libya bought 100,000 hectares of prime territory in Mali in what critics consider a "land grab". With both countries facing instability: who controls the farm land now?

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.

Meet the Journalist: Chris Arsenault

What happens when investors look for land deals in Africa? Journalist Chris Arsenault looks at what is happening to the Libyan government's 100,00 hectare land grab in Mali.

This Week: Is It Too Late for Hong Kong?

This week: China loses patience with sacrificing control, Chinese migrants in Singapore, and child soldiers in South Sudan; what will happen with recent Trump administration aid cuts.