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.

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?

Civil Asset Forfeiture

Liberal and conservative justices criticize abuses of civil asset forfeiture. Groups from CATO to the ACLU do too. Republicans and Democrats want change, but much of the reform agenda is unfinished.

Bolsonaro and the Brazilian Amazon

Under the presidency of Jair Bolsonaro, Brazil’s indigenous communities are bracing for an escalation of repression, encroachment, and displacement throughout the Amazon and the rainforest frontier.