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 Face of the Resistance (Spanish)

The leader of Sarayaku, a Kichwa town in Ecuador, has fought oil companies that want to break into their territory for more than twenty years. For her struggle, she has been tried, slandered, and threatened with death. Who is afraid of Patricia Gualinga?

A Life Against Hydroelectric (Spanish)

Indigenous and coastal communities of southern Brazilian Amazon are mobilizing to prevent the invasion of more than 138 hydroelectric plants in the Juruena River basin that would aggravate the deforestation rates of the region.

Bolsonaro Against the Maró Indigenous Land (Spanish)

The communities of the Brazil's Amazonian face challenges due to aggressive industrial activities, today encouraged by the new government. This series features five young leaders who defend the forest and its territory. In this first chapter: Ednei.

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.

Canaan: Haiti's Promised Land

Born out of an earthquake, can a new city of 300,000 people survive survive without a government? In Haiti, we follow an unprecedented experiment in land rights, urbanism and self-governance.

Hispaniola's Unsteady Land

On the island of Hispaniola, conflict over land is putting people’s future on unsteady ground.