When it comes to deciding who owns the ground beneath our feet, we rarely see a truly one-sided conflict.
Even mines and palm oil plantations - condemned by critics for a track-record of environmental destruction and the forced evictions of indigenous communities - will point to jobs created and economic development achieved.
Almost every country in the world has laws, like eminent domain, that say the legal titles or ancestral claims of existing residents can be overcome by benefits shared among many. Even Japan - where sitting tenants have some of the strongest rights in the world - allows forced expropriations, under some circumstances.
But increasingly, we're seeing stories of competition for land taking place between groups who each have a desire to preserve lands and respect the rights of existing inhabitants.
In just one week, we've seen reports from correspondents in Asia and Africa who have witnessed struggling communities come up against groups protecting an unlikely foe: elephants.
In Tanzania, nomadic herdsmen say their livestock is in jeopardy as the national parks service, which protects more than a third of the country's land, has redrawn boundaries to fence-off dwindling water sources and drought-affected pastures for wildlife.
In India, these giant mammals are penned into disappearing forest and increasingly coming into conflict with farmers, as urbanisation encroaches on both agricultural land and wildlife reserves.
These conflicts, sometimes deadly, are part of global trend that sees may people's intuitions torn.
As populations grow and the demands for a food, water, a home, sustainable energy, and a place for nature increase, the pressures on land will likely multiply. And it's not always clear which is the "green" choice.
Destructive mining projects often touch on deeply entrenched beliefs that the industries behind them care little for the earth - but do environmentalists feel different when nature and local communities are endangered by plans to exploit metals destined for solar panels or electric cars?
Gunmen kill three herdsmen in Southern Kaduna, Nigeria, as land rights conflicts continue
In South Africa, a court case could have major impacts on land ownership by black women
The Gentrification of Standing Rock: as allies flooded in, indigenous leadership was increasingly drowned out in a sea of noise
A village amid skyscrapers: how long can Kuala Lumpur's enclave hold out?
'Smart Decline' Is Dumb: We don’t know the future. America's Rust Belt cities need to stop planning that there isn’t one
Tomorrow is the 14th anniversary of the death of Rachel Corrie - read this moving story about the activist, killed by an Israeli bulldozer while resisting the demolition of her Palestinian friends, written last year
LA Times editorial: Are the county and city finally ready to reduce homelessness on a massive scale?
"Should we resurrect dead buildings?" Aaron Betsky argues the case for renovating rather than replacing buildings