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

Darién Under Threat

Central America's Darién region buckles under steady deforestation as timber colonists and palm oil entrepreneurs advance across the region—bringing strife and violence to the area’s indigenous residents with them.

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.

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

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.

The Corporate Balkanization of Nation States

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?

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

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?

The Megacity Initiative

The Megacity Initiative is a new media venture investigating the sustainable development of burgeoning urban centers around the world in order to more prudently integrate future city dwellers.