Brazil – Silva the Amazon Saviour

February 2010

As President Lulas health is brought into question, Brazil is looking ahead to the elections in October. Could a victory for ex-environment minister Marina Silva be the salvation of the rainforest?
When Lula made Marina Silva Environment Minister in 2002 she launched into a stringent environmental policy. “We arrested 725 people1,500 companies were closed downabout 1 million cubic meters of timber were confiscated. But for a government focused on expanding its industries, her policies quickly became a burden. A frustrated Silva left the government and is now an outspoken member of the Green party. We still believe in the outdated concept of progress through unbridled industrialization, as if our natural resources are infinite. We need new answers!” Prepared to take on big industry and put the Amazon at the heart of everything, she increasingly has the support of Brazilians; I think she has the potential of becoming a great leader.

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