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

The Defenders of Darién: Part II

Mappers, a drone pilot, a lawyer, bird-watchers, a journalist, and reforesters are carrying out ambitious projects to stop the degradation the Darien Gap tropical rainforest.

Darién Under Threat

Central America's Darién region buckles under steady deforestation as timber colonists and palm oil entrepreneurs advance across the region—bringing strife and violence to the area’s indigenous residents with them.

The Defenders of Darién

Darién’s indigenous communities are organizing to combat deforestation. Mappers, a drone pilot, and a lawyer, are working tirelessly to save a precious Panamanian and universal resource: the rainforest. 

Panamanian Indigenous People Act to Protect the Forest From Invading Loggers

The Darién Gap between Panama and Colombia has long been known as an impregnable stretch of rainforest, rivers and swamps inhabited by indigenous peoples as well as guerrillas, drug traffickers and paramilitaries. Some of the Darién’s indigenous communities are working to reverse steady deforestation.

The Federation Files

Together, more than 148 non-profit Jewish federations hold assets of $16 billion in the United States and Canada. Investigative journalist Uri Blau examines how the money is spent.

Colombia's Hot Moment

Much is riding on the race to identify and distribute the biological diversity of areas occupied by civil war that the government of Colombia will be receiving as part of the peace deal.

People of the Kelp

Up Canada's West Coast in search of the world's biggest unreported land conflict.

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?