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

Cross-border Conservation Land Grabs

Has a laudable transnational anti-poaching initiative been hijacked by organized crime? This project investigates claims the Kruger National Park poaching wars are used to create eco-cocoons for the mega-rich.

Cambodia's Floating Villages

In Cambodia’s floating villages, tens of thousands of ethnic Vietnamese eke out precarious lives on the Tonle Sap. Born into statelessness, they are not permitted to vote, work, or even live on land.

The Tech Libertarians Buying New Zealand

Silicon Valley billionaires have been buying up New Zealand land, gaining citizenship and influencing immigration policy. Why are they so drawn to the place, and what is the ideology behind it all?

Panama at the Crossroads

Heavy machinery is cutting a new road to untouched Caribbean beaches. Extractive industries are threatening the Darien's forests. Who owns these lands? Their ancestral inhabitants are ready to fight.

Land Grabbing Worsens Climate Change

Forestland grabs are not only denying land rights to forest communities and indigenous people but also leading to biodiversity loss and climate change.

Meet the Journalist: Bukola Adebayo

Bukola Adebayo discusses the environmental impact of sand dredging along Lagos coastlines, the socio-economic challenges, and the relationship to violations of land and property rights.

Meet the Journalist: Fred Pearce

200 environmental and human rights activists are assassinated each year, according to Global Witness. Fred Pearce investigates the headline-grabbing slayings of three of these activists.

This Week: Kingdom of Women

This Week: A village in China where women rule, an island off British Columbia was supposed to be an economic salvation, and illegal mining is causing problems for Venezuela.

This Week: Botched Land Grab Along the Border

This week: A land grab at the U.S.-Mexico border reveals how the government might go about building the wall, a history of land grabs by the government are revealed by a laundry list of treaties with American Indian nations, and the women taking on military duty in the Central African Republic.