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

Operation Anti-Indian

Land-grabbing, deforestation, and the persecution of their leaders haunt the indigenous territories in Rondonia, Brazil.

In These Hills, Our Gods and Our Futures

In Odisha in eastern India, Arko Datto and Raghu Karnad cover the resistance of Dongria Kondh women to industrial interests that want to exploit their sacred hills for bauxite reserves.

A Journey Through Contested Lands: Tanzania

A moving photo essay about the Maasai in northeast Tanzania, who are struggling to make a living on ancestral lands that the government keeps trying to take away.

A Journey Through Contested Lands: Honduras

Real estate investors are violating the hard-fought land rights of the Garífuna, an Afro-Caribbean community in Honduras whose unique and endangered culture has been recognized by UNESCO.

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.