Funded! This project was successfully funded on June 27, 2012.

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Translate final report on impact of highway on the Amazon triborder in three languages and develop a digital platform to show results

The Jungle Highway

The depths of the Amazon are impenetrable, concealing people and entire communities behind their leafy curtain. The world will soon see many of its secrets, however, when a highway slices through the jungle to connect the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific.

The Interoceanic Highway is the newest focus of development on the continent, emerging along the borders of Brazil, Bolivia, and Peru. This ambitious infrastructure project will give Brazil over-the-road access to Pacific ports and ultimately China, connecting two of the world’s biggest economies. The highway also will make it easier to reach places that until now have been isolated in the depths of the Amazon.

However, very little is known about the social and environmental impact of this monumental infrastructure project on the communities of those three nations.

We propose to report on how this highway affects the ecosystem and people of the sensitive Amazon region. Our crew will focus on three specific areas: Puerto Maldonado in Peru, Cobija in Bolivia, and Rio Branco in Brazil.

The project is the first initiative by CONNECTAS, a new organization conceived by Colombian journalist Carlos Eduardo Huertas during a Nieman fellowship at Harvard University. CONNECTAS fosters reporting on transnational issues in the Americas (www.connectas.org).

The Jungle Highway project will examine the logging of native trees, population changes in our regions of study, changes in living conditions, and the evolution of illegal activities, among other aspects of the highway. We will return to the region two years later to determine the extent to which the project was completed, assess its long-term impact and highlight roles of key community leaders in each of these areas.

CONNECTAS is sponsoring the fieldwork and editing of the final project. A reporter will make a self-funded field visit to the region from June to August 2012. This Kickstarter campaign hopes to raise enough money to translate and publish the final multimedia project in English, Spanish, and Portuguese.

Achieving the funding goal – and surpassing it! – will not only signal support for this important reporting effort, it will demonstrate that people like you are interested in key transnational development issues in the Americas. And the additional resources will be invested in identifying and funding other similiar projects by CONNECTAS.

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    You will be formally recognized in the credits of the project for your support (unless you wish to remain anonymous).

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    You will receive email updates about the Interoceanic Highway and findings of The Jungle Highway project,

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    You will receive all of the above and be invited to participate in conference calls with Carlos Eduardo Huertas and others discussing the project's reporting and findings.

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    You will receive all of the above and receive a private copy of the report before it becomes public. Carlos Eduardo Huertas will provide a behind the scenes account of the reporting.

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- (20 days)