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 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.

The Wampis: First Indigenous Autonomous Government in Peru Fights Back Against Deforestation (Spanish)

The Wampis Nation is made up of thousands of people whose ancestors have lived in the Amazon rainforest in the north of Peru for centuries. Increasing raids from loggers, miners, and those searching for fossil fuels, in addition to political changes that favor industrial exploitation of natural resources, have left the Wampis more and more worried about the future of their home.

Up Against the U.S./Mexico Border Wall

Mexicans call it The Wall of Shame. Few people north of the border ever ask, what does the wall look like from Mexico, not just to ordinary Mexicans but those whose homes literally touch the wall?

China's Frayed Perimeter

Why, despite growing vastly richer and steadily more powerful over the last generation, has China remained frustrated in its goal of bringing Hong Kong and Taiwan under its unquestioned authority?

The End of Europe

Examining the cultural, historical, and political meanings of Europe by traveling along its geographical border with Asia.

The Great Land Rush

A race has begun for one of the world's most precious resources—land. Investors are pouring in billions. They promise progress, but land grabs can upend livelihoods and stir bitter conflict.

Environmental Martyrs

Murders of environmental and land rights campaigners are on the increase worldwide.

Boycott, Divest, Sanctions

On college campuses and in religious institutions across the country, there is renewed focus on Israel, anti-semitism and the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) movement.

This Week in Review: Salvation or Doom?

Pulitzer Center Senior Editor Tom Hundley highlights this week's reporting on Exxon Mobil’s multi-billion dollar Liquefied Natural Gas project in Papua New Guinea.