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

Amazon ‘Retakings’ Challenge Bolsonaro

Some indigenous communities are pushing back against the Bolsonaro government by carrying out occupations, known as “retomadas,” of traditional lands that they say the government has been too slow to recognize as rightfully theirs.

How Much Are You Overpaying in Property Tax?

When Palmer Square, LLC recently wanted to sell their apartment building, they went through all the usual hoops that most homeowners are familiar with. But selling the property outright would have cost $65,000 in conveyance fee taxes, and annual property tax would bump up an additional $309,000 dollars per year.

Powering a Conflict

While Tatmadaw and Kachin Independence Army (KIA) soldiers face off in a long-running conflict in Myanmar, a company owned by the KIA has been profiting from the sale of power to government-controlled townships.

Taken: How Police Profit From Seized Property

A data-driven look at the impact of civil asset forfeiture reform laws throughout the Midwest.

For-Profit Policing in Kentucky

Kentucky has some of the weakest laws in the country when it comes to protecting property from seizure. The Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting examines why law enforcement is seizing so much property—and who's suffering.

China's Footprint in Pakistan

Will China's investment in Pakistan deliver the broad-based growth, prosperity, and jobs it promises? How will it reshape local politics, infrastructure, and the environment?

Nomads in Iran

This project focuses on the nomadic communities of southern Iran whose pastoral lifestyle—and access to rangeland that such a lifestyle depends on—is threatened.

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: Losing Earth

This week: the decade we almost stopped climate change, the U.S.-backed coalition in Yemen is paying Al-Qaeda militants, and Magnum photographers journey through six countries where indigenous people are fighting to keep the rights to their land.

This Week: Pakistan and India are Becoming Nuclear Rivals

This week: Why Pakistan and India are equipping their submarines with nuclear-tipped missiles, what life is like for ethnic minority Vietnamese living in Cambodia, and how armed groups have filled a power vacuum in the Central African Republic.