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

Rainforest on Fire

On the front lines of Bolsonaro's war on the Amazon, Brazil's forest communities fight against climate catastrophe.

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.

Myanmar’s Looming Land Conflict Epidemic

Myanmar's reintegtation into the international community has spurred ethnic strife and a mass migration of people from the country.

Land and Power in South Africa

Calls for expropriation of white-owned land are growing louder in South Africa, setting off a furious reaction from Afrikaner groups, and laying bare a widening rift in the post-Apartheid nation.

Ohio Property Records

Ohio is one of the largest states in the nation. But a strong tradition of local rule makes finding records difficult across county lines. This data project delves into that problem and looks at patterns of ownership throughout the state.

In These Hills, Our Gods and Our Futures

In Odisha in eastern India, Arko Datto and Raghu Karnad cover the resistance of Dongria Kondh women to industrial interests that want to exploit their sacred hills for bauxite reserves.

A Journey Through Contested Lands: Tanzania

A moving photo essay about the Maasai in northeast Tanzania, who are struggling to make a living on ancestral lands that the government keeps trying to take away.

A Journey Through Contested Lands: Honduras

Real estate investors are violating the hard-fought land rights of the Garífuna, an Afro-Caribbean community in Honduras whose unique and endangered culture has been recognized by UNESCO.

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.