The Sustainable Development Reporting Project is a year-long endeavor to look at the most promising and important sustainable development programs in Central America. It is made possible by a grant from the Mexico City office of the Ford Foundation. The topics include sustainable forestry, ecotourism, sustainable agriculture, biodiversity protection, and endangered species protection. The project is producing 10 stories to be aired on National Public Radio between August 1997 and March 1998. All stories are being rewritten in print format for UT-LANIC, the University of Texas at Austin's Latin American Network Information Center.
The Project Director is John Burnett, for 12 years Southwest Correspondent for NPR based in Austin, Texas. Burnett took a year-long leave of absence from his regular duties covering Texas to travel in Central America, research the stories, write them and produce them.
Burnett has maintained a longstanding personal and professional interest in Latin America since the early 1980s. He first began working in Mexico and Central America from 1981 to 1982 as a special projects writer for the San Antonio Express-News. From 1983 to 1985 he moved to Guatemala City to cover Central America as a full-time correspondent for United Press International. He frequently reports on Latin American issues in addition to his duties in the Southwest region.
He is married to Dr. Virginia Garrard Burnett, a senior lecturer in Latin American history at the Institute of Latin American Studies at the University of Texas.
Some of these stories can be heard in audio format through the Saving Latin American Wilderness page at NPR.