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Peru's Transoceanic Highway and the Rainforest

audio icon Listen to part one audio icon Listen to part two

November 27 - 28 -- Come along for the next National Public Radio/National Geographic Society Radio Expeditions on a new road through Peru's Amazonian rainforest.

A team of scientists funded by the National Geographic Society has been studying the side effects of road building in this part of Peru. NPR Science Correspondent John Nielsen recently joined them for a six-day road trip. Listen as Nielsen, in the first of two Radio Expeditions, travels with the research team down a badly-degraded one-lane dirt road, visiting an isolated farming village and a badly polluted gold mine in the rainforest.

When roads are built in rainforests, loggers and miners and settlers often flood the area, and the rainforests near the road are quickly destroyed. That's the way it almost always happens in the tropical world. And it's why there's lots of concern for the future of the Peruvian rainforests, now that a so-called Transoceanic Highway is being built.

The road gets dramatically better in part two of our expedition, when the team reaches the nearly-finished Transoceanic Highway. Nielsen speaks with various Peruvians living near this new road, and then talks about possible solutions with Anton Seimon and Peter Zahler, co-leaders of the expedition.

Recording the trucks plowing through the Madre de Dios rainforest Recording the trucks plowing through the Madre de Dios rainforest

Constructing Peru's Transoceanic Highway Constructing Peru's Transoceanic Highway



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