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

How Missouri's Drug Task Forces Avoid Accountability

Court records show that Missouri’s federally funded drug task forces have often failed to set up required oversight commissions, failed to hold oversight meetings in public and repeatedly failed to respond to Sunshine Act requests for public information. 

Mapping Vulnerability in Puerto Rico

Foreclosures have been a serious problem in Puerto Rico, escalating since Hurricane Maria caused vast damage and saddled people with extensive repair costs.

"Mulheres do Xingu"

"Mulheres do Xingu" is a short-form documentary that shows the first major gathering of a women's movement, held in May 2019 in the village of Ilha Grande, Mato Grosso, Brazil. The objective was to discuss ways for women to find a place in spaces of power along with men.

Mapping Makoko

Makoko, one of the most crowded slums in Lagos, Nigeria, is finally being mapped—a project intertwined with the fight for property rights in the community.

Canada's Pipeline Battle

A dispute over land ownership is at the center of fierce debate around a planned extension to Canada's Trans Mountain pipeline, which would cut through dozens of First Nations communities.

The Next Yellowstone

Are the super rich better equipped than the federal government to save America's disappearing wildlands?

Dominion: Land Grab in the Name of Conservation

Land reform, or sleight of hand? Who benefited from the multimillion-dollar MalaMala deal in greater Kruger National Park? Oxpeckers Investigative Environmental Journalism follows the money trail of South Africa's most expensive land settlement.

Meet the Journalist: Mark O'Connell

Mark O'Connell travels to New Zealand to investigate how an extremist libertarian manifesto from 1997 influenced Silicon Valley libertarians like Peter Thiel to acquire apocalypse boltholes in New Zealand.

Meet the Journalist: Jonas Bendiksen

Photographer Jonas Bendiksen traveled to Greenland to visualize its demographic challenges: As more women than men leave to study or live abroad, there are fewer than nine women for every 10 men.

Timbs v. Indiana, Explained

Timbs v. Indiana was a case involving civil asset forfeiture decided by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2019. It is a significant step toward judicial reform of civil asset forfeiture practices.