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.

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.

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.

Meet the Journalist: Chris Arsenault

What happens when investors look for land deals in Africa? Journalist Chris Arsenault looks at what is happening to the Libyan government's 100,00 hectare land grab in Mali.

This Week: Is It Too Late for Hong Kong?

This week: China loses patience with sacrificing control, Chinese migrants in Singapore, and child soldiers in South Sudan; what will happen with recent Trump administration aid cuts.