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

A Life Against Dams (Spanish)

Indigenous peoples and ribereños in the southern Brazilian Amazon are mobilizing to prevent the invasion of more than 138 hydroelectric structures in the Juruena River watershed that would exacerbate deforestation metrics throughout the region.

Bullet Ant Ritual: Indigenous Group Prepares to Reoccupy Land (Portuguese)

In February, a team of journalists traveled to the Amazon to spend time with the Sateré-Mawé, documenting their culture and their longstanding conflicts with mining companies and land thieves. Their series of reports examines the new threats posed to the Sateré and Indigenous groups throughout Brazil in the face of President Jair Bolsonaro's pro-ruralist policies.

Cross-border Conservation Land Grabs

Has a laudable transnational anti-poaching initiative been hijacked by organized crime? This project investigates claims the Kruger National Park poaching wars are used to create eco-cocoons for the mega-rich.

Cambodia's Floating Villages

In Cambodia’s floating villages, tens of thousands of ethnic Vietnamese eke out precarious lives on the Tonle Sap. Born into statelessness, they are not permitted to vote, work, or even live on land.

The Tech Libertarians Buying New Zealand

Silicon Valley billionaires have been buying up New Zealand land, gaining citizenship and influencing immigration policy. Why are they so drawn to the place, and what is the ideology behind it all?

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.