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

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.

Inter(Nation)al

Inter(Nation)al ​explores current events through the lens of treaties signed between the U.S. Government and Native Nations. These treaties bind all of us—legally and culturally.

Venezuela’s New Gold Rush

For many people, gold fires the imagination, but can it resolve a crisis? Venezuela finds itself in distress and is going all-in on gold mining—an industry tainted by conflict.

Border Fence Land Grab

Donald Trump's promised border wall will involve taking land from hundreds of people. An earlier land grab to build border fencing was rushed, sloppy, and gave landowners wildly differing payments.

The Federation Files

Together, more than 148 non-profit Jewish federations hold assets of $16 billion in the United States and Canada. Investigative journalist Uri Blau examines how the money is spent.

Colombia's Hot Moment

Much is riding on the race to identify and distribute the biological diversity of areas occupied by civil war that the government of Colombia will be receiving as part of the peace deal.

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: Joshua Kucera

Joshua Kucera traveled along the conventional border between Europe and Asia, from Istanbul's Bosphorus to the Russian Arctic—reporting on the people who live between East and West.

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.