A BOOK started by Wirral-born journalist, Dom Phillips, who was murdered in the Amazon, will be published after the project was rewarded a £32,000 grant. 

In June 2022, Mr Phillips was shot dead alongside environmentalist Bruno Pereira while on his final research trip for How to Save the Amazon - a travel book on the destruction faced by the world’s most important rainforest.

Mr Phillips, 57, was originally from Bebington and attended St Anselm's College in Birkenhead.

Brazilian police believe the pair were targeted for helping indigenous activists defend land from illegal fishing and mining gangs. A judge ruled that three fishermen accused of murdering the pair would face trial by jury next year.

Recognizing the significance of this project, leading writers covering the Amazon have now come together to finish Phillips’s book and have been awarded a Whiting creative nonfiction grant of $40,000 (£32,000) to complete the project.

The judges said: "Dom Phillips’s reporting on ecological depredations in the Amazon, completed before his murder in the field, demonstrates impressive levels of access and a deep moral curiosity.

"It's rare to encounter travel writing that truly shows the reader something they haven't seen before; the sense of discovery—and, inevitably, peril—is palpable.

"It is galvanizing to see this cohort of investigative journalists come together to deliver on Phillips’s vision, and, crucially, to include first-hand indigenous perspectives and their potential solutions. This project speaks not only to the threatened territory of the Amazon but the vulnerable territory of freedom of speech."

The group includes Jon Lee Anderson of The New Yorker and Tom Phillips, Latin America correspondent for the Guardian, and will be helmed by journalist Jonathan Watts.

The book will be published by Manilla Press, an imprint of Bonnier Books UK.

“We were thrilled to acquire Dom’s book and received dispatches from the Amazon as and when he could write them, and we could see the important book this was shaping up to be – immersing us in this incredible landscape, highlighting to us the work done by the peoples who live there, offering us new ways in which we can help restore this vital ecosystem,” said Justine Taylor, editorial manager at Bonnier.

“It was such a shock to learn of Dom and Bruno’s deaths – and an immeasurable loss for their families – but we are so glad and proud that Dom’s work will be continued by Jonathan Watts and his team of contributors.”