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

The Defenders of Darién

Darién’s indigenous communities are organizing to combat deforestation. Mappers, a drone pilot, and a lawyer, are working tirelessly to save a precious Panamanian and universal resource: the rainforest. 

Panamanian Indigenous People Act to Protect the Forest From Invading Loggers

The Darién Gap between Panama and Colombia has long been known as an impregnable stretch of rainforest, rivers and swamps inhabited by indigenous peoples as well as guerrillas, drug traffickers and paramilitaries. Some of the Darién’s indigenous communities are working to reverse steady deforestation.

A Journey Through Contested Lands: Azerbaijan

In Azerbaijan, Emin Özmen captures a story of assimilation: the integration of the Talysh, with their distinct and sometimes fading traditions, into a country asserting its national identity.

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.

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.