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I give up, says Brazilian minister who fought to save the rainforest

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Joanne98 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-15-08 02:00 PM
Original message
I give up, says Brazilian minister who fought to save the rainforest
By Daniel Howden, Deputy Foreign Editor
Thursday, 15 May 2008


Brazil has been accused of turning its back on its duty to protect the Amazon after the resignation of its award-winning Environment Minister fuelled fresh fears over the fate of the forest. The departure of Marina Silva, who admitted she was losing the battle to get green voices heard amidst the rush for economic development, has been greeted with dismay by conservationists.


"She was the environment's guardian angel," said Frank Guggenheim, executive director for Greenpeace in Brazil. "Now Brazil's environment is orphaned."

In a letter to President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, Ms Silva said that her efforts to protect the rainforest acknowledged as the "lungs of the planet" were being thwarted by powerful business lobbies. "Your Excellency was a witness to the growing resistance found by our team in important sectors of the government and society," she wrote.

The decision by Ms Silva to walk away five years on from her triumphant unveiling as a minister in President Lula's first term has underlined just how far the former trade union hero's administration has drifted from the promises made in its green heyday.

"Her resignation is a disaster for the Lula administration," said Jose Maria Cardoso da Silva, of Conservation International. "If the government had any global credibility in environmental issues, it was because of minister Marina."

The Latin American giant's supposed progress on environmental protection has unravelled in the past year as revelations of record levels of deforestation, violent land disputes and runaway forest fires have followed in quick succession. The worldwide boom in agricultural commodities has created an unparalleled thirst for land and energy in Brazil, and the result has been a potentially catastrophic land grab into the world's largest remaining rainforest. The Amazon basin is home to one in 10 of the world's mammals and 15 per cent of its land-based plant species. It holds more than half of the world's fresh water and its vast forests act as the largest carbon sink on the planet, providing a vital check on the greenhouse effect.

Since President Lula won a second term Ms Silva found herself a lone voice in a government acutely aware that its own political future depended on the vast agribusiness interests she was trying to rein in. The final breakdown in her relationship with the President came after he gave the green light to massive road and dam-building projects in the Amazon basin, and a plan she drafted for the sustainable management of the region was taken from her and handed to a business-friendly fellow minister.

Marcelo Furtado, the campaign director for Greenpeace Brazil, said the resignation was "disastrous" and blamed it on the government's Amazon policy and pressure to ease environmental regulations on factories.
http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change...

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HeresyLives Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-15-08 02:05 PM
Response to Original message
1. Ack! Don't do THAT!
International community needs to jump on Brazil for this!
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navarth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-15-08 02:06 PM
Response to Original message
2. very disheartening
yeah we should definitely jump on Brazil for that. and ourselves.
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navarth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-15-08 02:08 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. HEY WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED TO MY AVATAR??
somebody's cracked in here. My avatar is a Detroit Lions logo.
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navarth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-15-08 03:13 PM
Response to Reply #3
6. I changed it and it's still messed up
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ashling Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-15-08 02:16 PM
Response to Original message
4. Does anybody know how many
is in a brazillion?
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mac2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-15-08 02:17 PM
Response to Original message
5. That's their duty as a leader to protect the country and their
environment. If that leader can't do it then get out of the kitchen.

We have forest arsons here to but little is done about it. What about those satellites? Can't they track fires and arsons? I heard they could see a nickle on the ground.
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Uncle Joe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-15-08 06:18 PM
Response to Original message
7. Well this sucks. n/t
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earth mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-16-08 12:11 AM
Response to Original message
8. Greedy businesses the world over want to kill us all-who will be left to buy their crap?!
Bastards! :puke:
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