September 1, 2009
Contact:
Emerson Brown, NPR


   

NPR NEWS TRAVELS "THE AMAZON ROAD" SEPTEMBER 14-17
TO EXPLORE SOUTH AMERICAN INTEROCEANIC HIGHWAY PROJECT
AND POTENTIAL CONSEQUENCES

NPR Correspondent Lourdes Garcia-Navarro and Photographer John Poole
Take Extensive Look at Project In Four-Part Multimedia Series

September 8, 2009; Washington, D.C. -- NPR News presents one of the first extensive explorations of South America's Interoceanic Highway in "The Amazon Road," a multimedia series that charts the progress of the massive infrastructure project in Peru -- from the steep Andes slopes to the Amazon headwaters. Reported by NPR foreign correspondent Lourdes Garcia-Navarro and NPR photographer John Poole, "The Amazon Road" will be told in four parts on All Things Considered from September 14-17 and through an integrated multimedia experience at NPR.org, featuring original photography and a detailed map.

South America undertook the Interoceanic Highway project to connect its Atlantic and Pacific coasts in order to create a more direct route for delivering Brazilian products to China through Peruvian ports. The nearly completed road is being touted by Peru's government as a sign of progress that will bring development, business and products to once-remote communities. Environmentalists, however, fear the pristine Amazon wilderness that lies in its path will be ruined.

Garcia-Navarro and Poole spent 10 days on the Peruvian section of the Highway to document the issues raised by its construction. The NPR series stops at illegal alluvial gold mines that are destroying vast areas of forest, which the government says it can do little about; visits the city of Alerta near the Brazilian border where sustainable Brazil nut farming is being threatened by illegal logging; and meets conservationists devising innovative methods to protect the rainforest and the biodiversity within it.

"The Amazon Road" main series page on NPR.org will augment Garcia-Navarro's on-air reports by combining the audio with Poole's photographs and an interactive map. Visitors to the site will be able to follow the route traveled by NPR, and view slideshows from points where Garcia-Navarro filed stories -- featuring images to illustrate those reports.

"The Amazon Road" continues NPR's extensive reporting on issues of international significance. With 17 foreign bureaus and offices, more than any other major U.S. broadcast network, NPR News offers daily in-depth international coverage that is consistently recognized for broadcast excellence. Locations where NPR maintains permanent bureaus include Mexico City, London, Nairobi, Beijing, Jerusalem and Kabul; its newest foreign bureau, in Islamabad, Pakistan, opened in April 2009.

All Things Considered, NPR's signature afternoon newsmagazine, is broadcast on more than 660 NPR Member stations nationwide, reaching 13 million listeners weekly. The two-hour weekday program is hosted by Melissa Block, Michele Norris and Robert Siegel.