The Green Party of Brazil is going through a very important moment and we need help from all of you. We are trying to bring to the Green Party of Brazil, Senator Marina Silva, former Minister of Environment. Some meetings have been held to examine the viability of her coming and she was very interested in the proposal. We know that the international community has a high admiration for her work and dedication to environmental causes. Thus, we would like to ask to each green, around the world, to help us in the campaign that we are launching: "Lets go Marina”.In 2010 we will have elections in Brazil and we are fighting for Mariana to run for President in our party and put on the agenda the environment debate and call the attention for the Amazon Forest destruction. We are asking for our greens, in each country, to send an email (at this address: email@example.com) with your name and country, demanding her to be part of this great global green family. The email may be in English or Spanish. We will forward all emails to her. The greens in Brazil are making a small step that will place large global impact. We are acting locally and count on you to make this a global action.
Do you Know Marina?
Marina Silva was born on the 8th of February 1958, in the colocação Breu Velho in the seringal1 Bagaço, seventy kilometres from Rio Branco, the capital of the Brazilian state of Acre. Her family suffered all the hardships of the prevailing debt bondage system (aviamento), under which the rubber tappers were obliged to buy their food and supplies from the estate store, thereby remaining permanently in debt and with no cash income, in a state of semi-slavery. To help their father, Marina and her sisters collected latex, planted staple food crops, hunted and fished. These were not normal women’s duties in the rubber estates. In 1974, at the age of sixteen, Marina contracted hepatitis and travelled to Rio Branco in search of medical treatment and her twin dreams of studying and becoming a nun. At this time she did not know how to read or write, and had just enough basic numeracy to know how to avoid being cheated when delivering the rubber collected. In Rio Branco she worked as a family maid and enrolled in a government literacy course. She was so anxious to learn that within a month she was assessed as literate. She then moved into the regular public education system and after two months was allowed to take the tests for the conclusion of the first four grades of the primary school course. She then entered the convent and completed primary and secondary school courses. By the time she was twenty she was ready to take the entrance exams for the undergraduate course in History at the Federal University of Acre. Having got to know Liberation Theology and the ideas of Chico Mendes, Marina became involved in social movements and the struggles of the rubber tappers’ movement, abandoning her aim of becoming a nun. The beginnings of a movement of peaceful resistance to the process of clearing the forests if Acre and in defence of the way of life of 1 A seringal is a rubber estate, an area in the forest where native rubber trees are tapped for their latex. A colocação is the area assigned by the estate owner (seringalista) to an individual rubber tapper (seringueiro) and his family comprising a number of rubber trails (estradas de seringa) connecting the rubber trees (seringueiras) that the seringueiro taps for their latex. their traditional indigenous and rubber tapper inhabitants that sprung up with the arrival of the agricultural frontier in the 1970s and 1980s provided the learning environment for the emerging political leadership of the young Marina Silva. Her political activities and life path were built around the concrete ideals of building networks, negotiation, peaceful mobilization, awareness raising and opinion forming, creative thinking, and the peaceful defence of her positions that she had learned during her life in the forest and her collaboration with Chico Mendes, murdered in 1988. Prior to the murder of Chico Mendes, other leaders of the movement such as Wilson Pinheiro, Ivair Higino, Elias, Calado, had also been killed. However, despite the violence to which it was exposed, the rubber tappers’ movement never responded in kind. Nevertheless the changes this movement brought about in Acre were substantial. This philosophy of passive resistance, the search for alliances, and an emphasis on legal and institutional progress characterizes the trajectory of Marina Silva. Her arrival on the national and international political scene has been marked by innovative approaches and actions in respect of environmental issues and characterized by a strong ethical dimension. In the course of her journey, Marina Silva has sought to introduce people to the values of a new framework for civilization under which the main theoretical and practical underpinning is sustainability in all its dimensions – social, cultural, ecological, economic, political and ethical. In each of the struggles for upholding rights in which she has been involved these aspects have always been present. Such was the case in the fight for the creation of extractive reserves, a novel form of land reform characterized by the collective use of natural resources without the institution of private title, ensuring both the rights to continuity of the way of life of traditional communities in the Amazon region and the conservation of its forests. She has always used her mandate as a Federal Senator to defend the rights of the most vulnerable sectors of the population, such as indigenous peoples and traditional forestdependent communities. She has also fought for improved public policies in support of social inclusion, such as public health, education and the rights of minorities. Examples include her presidency of the Commission to Combat Hunger and her proposals to the former federal administration of President Fernando Henrique Cardoso that resulted in the first official price support for natural rubber at a moment when the market price had fallen below the cost of production and in the first line of credit available for traditional extractive activities. Another important act as Senator was to prepare in 1995 the first draft law to regulate access to genetic resources and protect the knowledge of traditional populations concerning their use. The draft was the result of an extensive consultation process involving public hearings across the country. The issues of access to genetic resources, the sharing of benefits arising and protection of the associated knowledge of traditional populations is currently at the heart of the negotiations in the United Nations, including the Convention on Biological Diversity. At the start of her second Senate mandate, Marina Silva was invited by President Lula to become Minister of the Environment. Her name was the first name of his ministerial team to be announced by the President during a visit to Washington DC. From the outset Marina was faced with two enormous challenges: the accelerating rate of Amazon deforestation, and the habitual political isolation and lack of strength of the environment ministry. In defining her main strategies and guidelines, she saw there was a overwhelming need to promote institutional cohesion that would align public policy for the environment with their integration across government in such a way as to internalize environmental policies throughout all sectoral public policies. The main strategic aim of Marina as regards public participation was to open a dialogue with all stakeholders for each issue and to build a culture of transparent negotiation built on ethical and not ideological premises. Substantial efforts were also made to encourage and support changes in production patterns so as to include social and environmental sustainability criteria. The first big test was the Plan to Combat Amazon Deforestation, which resulted in a major revolution in the way public policy for the region was developed and implemented. Firstly, because it did away with the idea that deforestation was the concern of the environment ministry alone and made all ministries, in particular those responsible for economic development, co-responsible for the identification and implementation of policies to eliminate the direct and indirect incentives created by other portfolios and which fuelled deforestation. In one of the tensest and most violent regions of the country as a result of the prevailing levels of land conflicts and disputes over the natural resources of the Amazon region, her administration was able to significantly increase the number of protected areas, establishing twenty four million hectares of conservation areas in locations suffering the greatest pressure from the expanding frontier in a break with previous practice that established such conservation areas in remote regions with low levels of conflicts over land. The plan was founded on three pillars: combating illegal activities, land zoning and titling, and support to sustainable production activities. Over the period that Marina Silva headed the Ministry of the Environment, a million cubic metres of hardwoods was confiscated, more that seven hundred perpetrators of environmental crimes arrested, more than four billion reais2 worth of fines were issued, more than fifteen hundred enterprises operating illegally were closed down and around thirty seven thousand properties illegally occupying public lands were notified as a result of improved monitoring and intelligence gathering activities grew substantially. A further high impact action was the change in the rules of the national financial system that prohibited access to public and private sources of finance by agricultural enterprises in contravention of environmental legislation in the Amazon. 2 Roughly US$ 2 billion In three years, by means of exercising a clear option for inclusive and open institutional processes, the annual rate of Amazon deforestation fell to 11,500 square kilometres. This was the second lowest rate since records were begun in 1988 and represented a 57% reduction in the area deforested, thereby avoiding the emission of 1,4 billion tons of CO2, contributing to global atmospheric greenhouse gas reduction efforts. Such avoided emissions represented around fourteen percent of the total emission reductions required by developed countries under the terms of the Kyoto Protocol. Official efforts to reduce the rate of Amazon deforestation enabled Brazil to review the concerns it had expressed in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and to establish greenhouse gas emission reduction targets, given that emissions from deforestation and land use change represent around three quarters of its emissions, according to its most recent national communication to the UNFCCC. This important change to the Brazilian diplomatic position was announced during the Thirteenth Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC (COP-13) held in Bali in December 2007. At this COP Brazil headed the G-20 group of developing countries which agreed to the establishment of voluntary targets which were measurable, communicable and verifiable. This new position was fundamental in putting pressure on those countries, most notably the United States, who had not ratified the Kyoto Protocol. The new position also qualified Brazil at the same meeting to launch the Amazon Fund, a pilot project to encourage the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions resulting from the conversion or degradation of its tropical forests. In addition, Brazil technology for monitoring its forests, as well as policy instruments for tackling deforestation are being made available to other tropical forest countries worldwide, in particular Brazil’s Amazon neighbours as well as African and Asian countries. During her period at the Ministry of the Environment, Marina’s way of working led to other innovations in public administration. At the most general level, the priority aim of promoting sustainable development provided a clear framework for the direction of environmental policy; that is to say, the search for alternative ways to generate social and economic growth through the adoption of forms of production that conserve Brazil’s socioenvironmental assets so as to maintain the quality of life now and for future generations. Extremely important results were achieved through enabling the real participation of stakeholders, especially through the creation of systems of access to strategic national environmental management information; for example, through providing open internet access to the Amazon deforestation monitoring system and the national register of public forest lands. The organization of the National Environment Conferences, three adult and two junior versions, also had a tremendous impact. The adult versions mobilized almost three hundred thousand people across the country and the junior version involved almost ten million children and adolescents in the national school network. This army of people, true militants for a more sustainable world, is creating new processes and actions for environmental protection across the country, the results of which are not yet known but will almost certainly surprise us. The experience is being transferred to the international level with the organization of the first Children and Youth International Conference on the Environment, to take place in 2010 and involving a hundred national governments and a considerable number of civil society organizations. Before leaving government and returning to her seat in the Senate, Marina Silva also oversaw the approval of a national policy to support development among Brazil’s traditional forest-dependent communities, such as indigenous peoples and rubber tappers, and the Law on the Management of Public Forests which regulates the utilization of Brazilian public forest lands and establishes the Brazilian Forest Service as a new modern public body responsible for promoting sustainable forest use. Her tenure also saw the creation of the Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation, a specialized public agency responsible for the administration of federal conservation areas, which currently comprise an area equivalent to that of the United Kingdom and half of France.
Awards · 1996: awarded the Goldman Environmental Prize in the South and Central America category · 1997: selected as one of the “25 Women in Action in the World for Life on Earth” by the United Nations Environment Programme · 2007: identified as one of the “50 people who could save the planet” by the Guardian newspaper (UK). · 2007: nominated a “Champion of the Earth”, together with Nobel Peace laureate Al Gore, the United Nations’ major award in the environmental field. · 29 October 2008 decorated by HRH Prince Philip with the Duke of Edinburgh medal, awarded by WWF International in recognition of her efforts in defence of the Brazilian Amazon. It is significant that the majority of these awards were granted during Marina Silva’s period at the Ministry of the Environment or shortly after leaving the post, signifying the recognition that whilst occupying high public office she retained the same commitments that have characterized her public life ever since first becoming involved in the struggle to protect the forests of Acre alongside Chico Mendes.
"Open Letter to The President of Brazil"June 2009by Marina Silva, Brazilian Senator
"Open Letter to The President of Brazil"June 2009by Marina Silva, Brazilian Senator
Brasilia - 4th June 2009
His Excellency Mr Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva DD President of the Republic
Dear Mr President, Yesterday was an historic day for the country and a landmark for the Amazon, with the final approval by the Senate of Bill 458/09, regarding land tenure regularisation in the region. The objectives of establishing rights, promoting justice and social inclusion, stepping up public governance and fighting crime – that I know were the law’s motivation - have been distorted and have ended up helping to reaffirm privileges and the deplorable patrimonial bias which is abusive and incompatible with the needs of the country and interests of its people. Unfortunately, after years of struggle against this kind of attitude, we now have gone backwards in time, in the name of the people but against the people and against the preservation of the forests and the commitment that Brazil undertook to reduce persistent deforestation that was degrading our national patrimony, and threatens efforts to contain global warming. The main problem with the Bill 458/09 is the creation of loopholes that grant amnesty to those who have committed crimes of appropriating large swathes of public land, so they may now benefit from policies that were originally conceived for smallholder squatters, whose rights are safeguarded by the Federal Constitution. Experts who have been accompanying the issue of land tenure in the Amazon categorically affirm that Bill 458/09, as it was approved yesterday, constitutes a serious regression, as pointed out by the Federal Attorney in the State of Para, Dr Felicio Pontes: “Bill 458/09 will legitimise land grabbing in the Amazon and will throw away 15 years of hard work carried out by the Federal Prosecutor’s Office in the State of Para, in their fight against illegal land grabbing.” This situation will affect all Amazon states. And in its wake will follow more destruction of forests for as we already know land grabbing has always been a first step to environmental devastation. Therefore, Mr President, it is in your hands to avoid such a monumental error that would not be in keeping with the your Government’s policy of recovery of social debt, and with the respect owed to so many companions who gave their lives for the forest and for the people of the Amazon. They are many – Padre Josimo, Irma Dorothy, Chico Mendes, Eilson Pinheiro – for whom Your Excellency was once prosecuted by the National Security Law– who have watered the Amazon land with their own blood, in the hope that, one day with a democratic and popular government, we could separate the wheat from the chaff. In their memory, Mr President, and in the name of Brazil’s patrimony, and our dream of a fair and sustainable country, I appeal to you to veto the most damaging sections of the Bill 458/09 that are outlined below. Allow myself, Mr President, and with the same insistence, to request that you take special care in the definition of enabling regulations for the Bill. It is of utmost importance that the proposed committee responsible for the evaluation of the regulatory processes is independent, and ensures the effective participation of those from civil society, especially with the participation of those who represent the popular rural movement and the environmental movement. Given the above considerations, Mr President, I therefore ask Your Excellency to veto sections II and IV of article 2º; article 7º and article 13.
Posted on August 11, 2009 by Brazil Institute Former Environmental Minister Marina Silva, currently a senator of the Workers Party (PT) representing the Amazon state of Acre, indicated today that she is seriously considering leaving the party and running for Brazil’s presidency next year as a Green Party candidate. Marina Silva’s candidacy would significantly alter the outlook of the October 2010 elections to choose a successor for President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who was reelected in 2006 and is term-limited. The former minister of the Environment left the government in 2007 in frustration after loosing a string of internal battles to Lula’s chief of staff and chosen candidate, Dilma Rousseff. The governor of the state of São Paulo, José Serra, from the opposition Social Democratic Party (PSDB), has maintained a consisted lead of 40% in most polls. Rousseff, who has never run for elective office, is yet to reach the 20% mark on voter’s surveys. Her chances of success in 2010 depend crucially on Lula’s capacity to transfer his popularity to his preferred candidate and on party unity, which is now threatened by Marina Silva’s plan to be a candidate for the presidency.
ANALYSIS-Amazon defender could upset Lula's election plans
By Carmen MunariSAO PAULO, Aug 10 (Reuters) - A possible presidential run by a former Brazilian environment minister and famed Amazon defender promises to add spice to next year's election and could be a blow to President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva's chances of getting his hand-picked successor elected.Despite steering Brazil to economic prosperity and maintaining approval ratings above 80 percent, Lula faces a struggle to persuade voters to elect his relatively unknown chief of staff, Dilma Rousseff, in the October 2010 elections.That task would likely become harder if his former environment minister, Marina Silva, decides to leave the ruling Workers' Party (PT) and run for the top job as the Green Party candidate, a move she said last week she was considering.Silva, an iconic figure for environmentalists who rose to the national stage from a poor rubber-tapper family in the Amazon forest, would likely attract left-wing middle-class voters concerned about the environment as well as women voters who might otherwise choose Rousseff, political analysts said."She is clearly a figure with a positive image, a respectable biography, and has appeal in the same sectors of the left as Dilma," said Fabio Wanderley Reis, a social sciences professor at the Federal University of Minas Gerais.The 51-year-old Silva returned to the Senate for the Workers' Party last year after resigning from the environment portfolio, where she had become increasingly isolated inside Lula's team and struggled to advance her conservation agenda.A Green Party poll found that, depending on which candidates run, she would get between 10 and 28 percent of the vote. That compares to 23.5 percent for Rousseff in a survey released by polling firm Sensus in June, which showed just over 40 percent support for Sao Paulo state Governor Jose Serra of the centrist opposition Brazilian Social Democracy Party.Lula is constitutionally barred from running for a third straight term."She has a profile closer to the Workers' Party voter," said Ricardo Berzoini, the president of the center-left ruling party. "I don't doubt that it could have this effect (of taking votes from Rousseff)."DECISION EXPECTED SOONCiro Gomes, a deputy in the lower house of Congress for the Brazilian Socialist Party who is also weighing a presidential run, said in an interview with Valor Economico newspaper on Monday that Silva's bid would "implode" Rousseff's candidacy.But one experienced electoral analyst said that the Green Party's polling numbers for Silva seemed too high and that she may not take significant votes from Rousseff."I think it's best to wait for other polls," said Marcos Coimbra, director of the Vox Populi polling firm.He said Rousseff would have the substantial benefit of support from Lula, who is promoting her as the "mother" of the government's huge infrastructure and housing program, a platform that Silva lacks.Rousseff, 61, cut her political teeth as a militant opposed to Brazil's military dictatorship in the 1960s and is known as an efficient administrator. But she has never been elected to a major public post and is seen as lacking the charisma and common touch that is Lula's trademark.Alfredo Sirkis, the vice-president of the Green Party, said he believed Silva could also steal votes from Serra, who lost to Lula in the 2002 election."She will take votes from the minister (Rousseff) because she is a woman and from the PT, and from Serra from the middle class who vote for him despite not liking him," he said.Silva returned to her remote home state of Acre in northwestern Brazil at the weekend to consider her decision and talk to local politicians. Officials from the PT and the Green Party said she was likely to announce a decision soon, and by the end of August at the latest."I'm not working with the theory that she will leave. With 30 years in the PT, she should stay where there is space to debate sustainable development," said Leonardo Brito, the Workers' Party president in Acre.But Silva, who worked closely in Acre with legendary rubber tapper and environmental activist Chico Mendes until his assassination in 1988, was left frustrated after five years as environment minister.She finally quit in May 2008 after Lula, who has generally favored development over conservation, rebuffed her and named another minister to oversee a government development plan in the Amazon.(Writing by Stuart Grudgings; Editing by Todd Benson and Patrick Rucker)
The possibility of Marina Silva running for president
The Marina Silva hypothesis.
The possibility of Marina Silva running for president in the Brazilian 2010 election is a revolution in a so far dull and uninteresting campaign. Alfredo Sirkis* Marina: she has a tough decision to take. It is quite easy to understand why the possibility of senator and ex-minister for the environment Marina Silva running for President of Brazil, in next year’s elections, can cause such excitement but also so much concern. Millions of Brazilians, sensitive to the ecological cause, to environmental and social sustainability, to climate change and our planet’s destiny, to the devastation of our ecosystems and the quality of life in our cities, yearn for a voice and a chance in the presidential campaign, so far limited to candidates promoting and proposing the classic 1960’s unsustainable model of economic growth. One can also understand the anguish of perplexed politicians asking themselves: is this Marina thing good for me? Bad for me? Will it help my strategy, will it jeopardize it? Should I bomb her? Not bomb? It is curious how the first political reactions and journalistic analysis, since this possibility surfaced gravitate around all those pragmatic calculations yet conceal the essential: Marina Silva represents ideas and hopes shared by millions of Brazilians. Isn’t it legitimate and important for Brazilian democracy to have them on stage in a two turn presidential election?The minimalist dimension would be a highly instructive campaign not only in large scale defensive environmental mobilization: stop burning the Amazon rainforest and emitting CO2; but, also, in affirming something the hegemons of current Brazilian development just can’t understand: our economic and social future depends on our possibility of creating a new green economy. No other country is so well positioned as Brazil to do so and attract massive investments for its eco-development. But, so far, we are stuck with our monocultures, our systematic devastation of biodiversity just to extend more and more cattle pastures and soy plantations, with our subsidies to polluting and carbon emitting vehicles (or unnecessary coal plants!) as well as highways though the heart of the rainforest.But there is more to it. Marina has the potential to transcend just a vigorous first turn campaign bound to extract concessions for green programs from one or both candidates remaining on the final ballot. She can be, herself the agent of revolution in our political system and the one to deal with this notorious abyss of Brazilian politics: the compulsory alliance of both social-democratic parties, the PT and the PSDB, with the old political oligarchies in the pursuit of governance. PT and PSDB struggle, as former president Fernando Henrique Cardoso once admitted, to decide who will lead the rearguard of Brazilian old politics and govern with it’s costly support. In the context of our instable electoral system of personal proportional voting --in Brazil we vote for individual candidates and a party’s performance is the addition of personal votes-- both PT and PSDB depend on coalition alliances with professional hack and patronage politicians to govern. It would be far better if they could work it out together but as the central dispute is between them their rivalry is ferocious. We, the Greens, dialog with the two social-democratic currents and recognize both have had positive economic and social achievements in their governments since 1994. Marina would be fit to promote new governance with both transcending at last this bizarre opposition so as to isolate the political oligarchies and open the way for a reform of our electoral system drying up it’s dependence on large scale corruption, cronyism, patronage, mismanagement and political abuse of public service, ballot buying through cash or politicians’ “assistance centers”. Marina could offer not just environmental, social and economic but institutional sustainability as well. We are entitled to dream a different country and fight to make it real though we know this cause transcends by far our limited ranks. At this time, we do not know, in fact, if Marina will be candidate for the presidency. It is a very tough decision, intimate and faith based, that we will just have to wait for. The political direction nevertheless is crystal clear: it is not anti-PT. We share great fraternity especially with the Acre(Marina’s Amazon state) PT, originally established through our close relationship to Chico Mendes, the rainforest defense leader killed in 1988. Were are not anti-PSDB either. We are certainly not anti-Lula although we cannot give up criticizing him for his frequently conservative and misleading attitudes on environmental issues. We are eventually building the policies and politics towards a post-Lula era.
* Alfredo Sirkis is a journalist, writer, city councilor, chairman of the Greens in Rio de Janeiro and vice-chairman of national Brazilian Greens.
Nasce un movimento che chiede all'ex ministro dell'Ambiente di candidarsi alle presidenziali 2010 Ormai da un anno è tornata a difendere la sua amata Amazzonia dai banchi del Senato, dopo una difficile esperienza come ministro dell'Ambiente nel governo Lula, che ha lasciato dopo cinque anni "per le tante, troppe pressioni provenienti da ogni dove". Eppure, la sua grinta e la speranza che le cose possano cambiare sono ancora intatte e nutrono le sue battaglie. È Marina Silva, la ragazzina dalla pelle scura cresciuta a fianco di Chico Mendes, che l'ha nutrita di rispetto assoluto per la natura e di coraggio nel difenderla, e ormai diventata una professionista della politica ambientalista. È per lei che si è mobilitato un gruppo di persone che la vorrebbero vedere di nuovo tra i capi, questa volta capo tra i capi del Brasile. Reti sociali. Si tratta di una campagna apartitica e non istituzionale che vuol spingere la donna ambientalista a succedere al beneamato presidente operaio. Per questo è nato un sito web che possa rafforzare questo proposito e che sta facendo il giro del Brasile. "Siamo cittadini comuni che desiderano vedere Marina Silva come presidente della Repubblica - ha spiegato a Terra Eduardo Rombauer van den Bosch, uno degli ideatori - Abbiamo logicamente messo a conoscenza Marina della nostra iniziativa, sottolineando che se si fosse opposta avremmo chiaramente lasciato perdere, ma attraverso il suo portavoce Pedro Ivo ci ha assicurato che non si opporrà, pur continuando a restarne fuori". Non c'è infatti la diretta interessata dietro questo movimento, è nato spontaneamente "dalla forza rinnovatrice delle reti sociali, che cercano una maniera diversa di costruire legittimità politica, lontana da altre dinamiche e ansie sociali , senza preoccupazioni per le restrizioni dettate dai partiti". Brasiliana e universale. "Promuoviamo la candidatura di questa donna, brasiliana e universale, dal potenziale politico e pedagogico immane, adatta a traghettare il Brasile nell'emergente transizione verso una democrazia sostenibile. Marina ha la forza di concretizzare I cambiamenti e le trasformazioni fondamentali che pochi altri leader, oggi, hanno", afferma il manifesto del movimento Marina Silva Presidente. "Si tratta di uno sforzo collettivo affinché Marina Silva si convinca ad accettare di assumere la forza della sua leadership", continuano, dato che, appunto, la senatrice è estranea alla vicenda. A capeggiare l'opera di convincimento verso la madre degli ambientalisti è Sérgio Xavier, presidente dei Verdi del Pernambuco, che ha scritto una lunga lettera alla Silva, definendola una candidata ideale perché "basata sul compromesso esclusivo con lo sviluppo sostenibile e con la costruzione di una nuova economia mondiale, capeggiata dal Brasile, focalizzata su prodotti naturali, energia e impieghi verdi, salutari, pacifisti e duraturi". E Dilma Rousseff? In una delle parti principali del sito si trovano anche i motivi principali per cui un brasiliano dovrebbe volere Marina Silva alla corsa per il post Lula e votare per lei. Si va dalla sostenibilità del futuro, alla promozione della coscienza etica, alla sua esperienza nel capeggiare storiche battaglie sociali. Marina Silva è per loro anche un esempio di integrazione, perché non solo è donna, e sarebbe la prima a salire alla massima carica brasiliana, ma ha anche la pelle scura. E questa sì che segnerebbe una svolta in un paese dove a predominare è da sempre il bianco.E infatti, pur avendo preferito indicare una donna come suo successore ufficiale alla corsa alla presidenza, Lula ha scelto Dilma Rousseff, che più bianca non si può. E chissà se sarà, comunque, costretto a rivedere i suoi piani? È ormai risaputo, perché di dominio pubblico e ogni giorno sulle pagine dei giornali che ne seguono morbosamente il decorso, che la ex rivoluzionaria è malata di cancro. Una notizia che ha smosso il mondo politico, turbando il sonno del Partito dei lavoratori, (al quale apparterrebbe anche la Silva). Molti sono convinti che il ‘fattore cancro' inciderà molto sull'esito della campagna elettorale, e non per forza in senso negativo. Il settimanale Epoca ha infatti lanciato una tesi interessante: "Gli esperti credono che nei prossimi mesi la popolarità di Dilma crescerà. La malattia le ha assicurato una maggiore visibilità mediatica. Prima cha la notizia venisse rivelata, il 65 percento degli elettori che appoggiano Lula era contrario alla sua candidatura. Ma il fattore emozionale giocherà un ruolo decisivo. Di fronte a una malattia grave, infatti, le persone tendono a essere più compassionevoli e spesso si identificano con la vittima. Nel caso di Dilma questo potrebbe farle guadagnare voti".
Reuters: Brazil Amazon defender weighing presidential bid
RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - A former Brazilian environment minister who won fame as a staunch defender of the Amazon rain forest is considering running for the country's presidency next year as the Green Party candidate, her office said on Wednesday. Marina Silva's candidacy would ensure that environmental issues get a high profile in the campaign and could also hold risks for President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who is backing his chief of staff, Dilma Rousseff, for the top job. Silva, who has been a senator for Lula's Workers' Party since she resigned as environment minister last year, could attract votes from the left and from women, making it more difficult for Rousseff, also a woman, to win. Silva, who was raised in a poor rubber tapper's family in the Amazon forest before becoming an environment activist, said in O Globo newspaper on Wednesday that she was considering an invitation to join the Brazilian Green Party. Media reports said the Green Party wants Silva to contest the presidency in the October 2010 elections in which the popular Lula is constitutionally barred from running for a third straight term. A spokeswoman for Silva in Brasilia confirmed to Reuters that the senator was considering the offer from the Green Party but had not reached any decision yet. The former union activist was one of the fresh faces who marked a break from Brazil's conservative past when she was appointed environment minister in Lula's first cabinet. But she became increasingly isolated inside Lula's team over issues ranging from the government's support for biofuels to genetically modified crops and nuclear power. She finally quit in May 2008 after Lula, who has generally favored development over conservation, rebuffed her and named another minister to oversee a government development plan in the Amazon. Despite Lula's high approval ratings, likely opposition candidate and Sao Paulo Gov. Jose Serra leads Rousseff by a wide margin in early opinion polls ahead of the 2010 election. (Reporting by Stuart Grudgings; editing by Cynthia Osterman)
Marina Silva no El País-Turbulencias en el plan de Lula
La ex ministra brasileña de Medio Ambiente, Marina Silva, medita abandonar el PT y presentarse a las elecciones presidenciales de 2010 con el Partido Verde JUAN ARIAS - Río de Janeiro - 06/08/2009 La noticia que podría revolucionar las elecciones presidenciales de 2010 en Brasil para elegir al sucesor del ex tornero Lula es que la ex ministra de Medio Ambiente de su Gobierno, amiga personal y ecologista, Marina Silva, de 51 años, podría abandonar su formación, el Partido de los Trabajadores (PT), afiliarse al Partido Verde (PV) y concurrir a los comicios. Dicha posibilidad, anunciada por ella misma ayer en el diario O Globo, ya ha creado un terremoto en el PT. Su presidente, Ricardo Berzoini, ha elogiado a su militante y ha afirmado que hará todo lo posible para que Silva no abandone el partido. Berzoini ha añadido, sin embargo, que si para un matrimonio hace falta el consenso de ambas partes, para el divorcio basta la de una de ellas. La ex ministra, que dejó el Gobierno por incompatibilidad con sus ideas en mayo de 2008, a pesar de la amistad personal que le une a Lula, no ha confirmado de forma oficial si acepta la invitación formal para entrar en el Partido Verde. Tras haber recordado que está afiliada al PT desde hace más de 28 años, ha afirmado que lo está "sopesando a la luz de los desafíos que podrán ser más importantes para Brasil, dentro de lo que siempre creí y defendí en mi vida". Si Silva dejase el PT, se afiliase al PV y disputara las primeras elecciones sin Lula como candidato después de 20 años, las presidenciales de 2010 podrían suponer una revolución. La precandidata del presidente brasileño es su ministra de la Casa Civil, Dilma Rousseff, una gran gestora de obras públicas. Lula la escogió, entre otras cosas, porque es mujer y aseguraría el voto femenino. Defensora de las renovables Rousseff es una ex guerrillera que luchó contra la dictadura y los militares la torturaron. Pero Silva además es negra. Hija de padres muy pobres, trabajó desde niña extrayendo caucho, por lo que no pudo estudiar. Al cabo de los años, esta acérrima defensora de la selva amazónica consiguió matricularse en la universidad gracias a unas monjas y al sindicato. Su amistad con el ecologista Chico Mendes la forjó en la defensa del medio ambiente. Hoy, Silva es una de las abanderadas internacionales en asuntos relacionados con las nuevas energías y su candidatura supondría la división del voto femenino. Los líderes del PV, a la espera de la decisión oficial de la ex ministra, están ilusionados. "La candidatura de Marina Silva sería la garantía de una discusión sobre lo que hay de más moderno, la nueva economía de bajo consumo de carbono, que el mundo necesita", ha afirmado el diputado verde Zequinha Sarney, quien ha asegurado que sondeos cualitativos y cuantitativos demuestran que la candidatura de Silva es competitiva y que aseguraría un "debate de ideas y no de personas". La gran incógnita es Lula. El ex tornero, a pesar de las divergencias que Silva tuvo con su Gobierno en materia medioambiental, es un encantador de serpientes e intentará que la popular e intransigente Silva continúe en su partido. De lo contrario, el PT sufriría una de sus bajas más importantes y la precandidata de Lula se vería en apuros para poder conseguir el fajín presidencial. Mientras tanto, en Internet ya se ha creado un movimiento popular a favor de la candidatura de Silva. Link: http://www.elpais.com/articulo/internacional/Turbulencias/plan/Lula/elpepuint/20090806elpepuint_2/Tes
Senator and former Minister of the Environment, Brazil
This year’s Sophie Prize winner grew up in poverty in one of the world’s most isolated areas and was illiterate until her teens. She has since, as activist, senator and minister, been dedicated to securing the largest and richest ecosystem on earth: the Amazon rainforest. Her efforts and courage - and her achievements – are without comparison.Marina Silva (born 1958) was Minister of the Environment in Brazil from 2003 to 2008. During this period she reduced deforestation in the Amazon to historically low levels - by 60% from 2004 to 2007. Silva used drastic measures and clamped down on all illegal activity in the forest. Hundreds who did not obey the law were imprisoned. While protecting the rainforest, she also balanced the concerns of indigenous peoples’ traditional farming societies.Brazil’s rainforest absorbs massive amounts of CO2. Rainforest conservation is crucial to limit the greenhouse effect and dramatic climate changes. Conservation of biodiversity and preservation of areas for local and indigenous peoples is also of great importance.Marina Silva grew up as one of 12 siblings in a poor rubber tapper family in the province of Acre, Western Brazil. Totally dependent of the rubber plantation, the family practically lived as slaves. 16 years old (in 1974) she contracted hepatitis and was sent to Rio Branco for treatment. She was illiterate, but with a dream of studying and becoming a nun.She worked as a maid, learned to read, was enrolled at a public school, stood for exams and started history studies. Along the way she was inspired by liberation theology and the ideas of the environmental activist Chico Mendes (murdered by cattle ranchers in 1988). She became politically active, and an ardent proponent of negotiation, non-violence, and innovative solutions. She saw many of her fellow activists murdered. Still, she did not give in, however, convinced that civilization must be based on sustainability.In 1994 she was elected senator to Brazil’s national assembly, the first from a rubber tapper family. President Lula appointed her Minister of the Environment in 2003. She faced enormous challenges. The ministry was weak and isolated, and deforestation in the Amazon was accelerating. Vested economic interest, sometimes criminal, were fiercely opposed and willing to go far to stop conservation.Despite this, Silva managed to forge alliances and to use laws and institutions to turn things around. Huge areas were conserved, more than 700 people were arrested for illegal activities in the forest, over 1.500 companies were closed down and equipment, properties and illegal timber were confiscated. These measures were effective. During Silva’s last three years in government, deforestation was reduced to the second lowest level in 20 years. As a result to this, the earth avoided emissions of 520 million tons of CO2, or ten times Norway’s annual emissions.Another result of Marina Silva’s efforts is The Amazon Fund, established to prevent greenhouse gas emissions through rainforest conservation. The Fund is financed by national and international contributions.Marina Silva resigned as Minister of the Environment, citing “the increasing resistance in central parts of government and the society”. The resistance became to massive after she made the government adopt a new set of measures to prevent the deforestation that was now increasing again. Silva continues her struggle from her place in the national assembly and still has great influence on environmental policy in Brazil.Mahatma Gandhi said: “Never underestimate the individuals ability to change the world”. Marina Silva confirms Ghandi’s words.Marina Silva is awarded the Sophie Prize based on her courage, her creativity and her ability to forge alliances, but first and foremost for her battle to conserve the Amazon rainforest. Her effort to secure a sustainable management of the earth we live on is an inspiration to us all.The Sophie Prize ceremony and performance are held in Christiania Theatre in Oslo, Wednesday June 17th, 4pm.
TIME:Heroes of the Environment 2008
Marina Silva and Cristina Narbona Ruiz
Marina Silva and Cristina Narbona Ruiz couldn't be more different — or more alike. Silva is an indigenous Brazilian born poor in the rain forest; she only learned to read at age 14. Narbona Ruiz grew up in Italy as the daughter of Spanish journalists in exile from the repressions of the Franco era. Silva spent her early career building a trade-union movement among the rain forest's rubber tappers alongside the activist Chico Mendes; Narbona Ruiz climbed the political ladder within Spain's Socialist Party. But once the two rose to become Environment Ministers in their respective countries, they both spoke out with a passion that proved too disturbing for the governments that appointed them. From an early age, Silva saw the damage that reckless business interests were doing to Brazil's ecosystem. As a child, instead of going to school, she worked in the forest tapping rubber from the trees to help support her 10 brothers and sisters. She watched as the bulldozers came for her trees, clearing land for roads that would connect the rain forest with the rest of Brazil. It wasn't just the trees that were devastated — so were the lives of many Brazilians who depended on the rain forest. Together with Mendes, she fought deforestation at the grassroots level by mobilizing the unions of rubber tappers. She later moved into the political mainstream, becoming the first rubber tapper in Brazil's Senate in 1994. When populist President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva came to power in 2002, Silva was the obvious choice for Environment Minister. The outsider was in. Narbona Ruiz was never really an outsider; before moving into politics she taught economics at the University of Seville. But like Silva, Narbona Ruiz dared to take on powerful interests — in her case, the construction industry that has paved over much of the country's Mediterranean coastline. When she became Environment Minister in 2004, she pressed on with policies that have made Spain a leader in renewable energy. But Narbona Ruiz's truly heroic moment came when she implemented a plan to limit construction on the coastline in an attempt to return Spain's beaches to something more natural. Narbona Ruiz was lauded by environmentalists, but gained powerful business enemies; when a new Socialist cabinet was formed in 2008, she found herself out of a job. Silva's fate was similar. After six acrimonious years as Brazil's Environment Minister, fighting a losing battle against industrial and political leaders eager to develop the Amazon at any cost, Silva resigned in protest in May. Greens mourned, but Silva isn't done fighting for the environment — she still serves in the Senate. Neither is Narbona Ruiz, who is now Spain's ambassador to the OECD. Both women were victims of the short-term vagaries of politics, but they remain lasting symbols of courage in the longer war for the environment. Though they couldn't have started life more differently, Silva and Narbona Ruiz have come to embrace the same role: embattled defenders of the earth.
Brazilian environment minister who fought with Amazon developers
By Peter Muello
3:09 p.m. May 13, 2008
RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil – Environment Minister Marina Silva resigned Tuesday, ending an often stormy six-year term that put her in conflict with developers in the Amazon rain forest. Silva did not say why she was stepping down, according to her spokeswoman, Jandira de Almeida Gouveia. But Sergio Leitao, director of public policy for Greenpeace in Brazil, said the minister “is leaving because the pressure on her for taking the measures she took against deforestation has become unbearable.” “Brazil is losing the only voice in the government that spoke out for the environment,” Leitao said. Denise Hamu, secretary-general of the Worldwide Fund for Nature in Brazil, said Silva tried unsuccessfully to coordinate environmental defense with health and transportation. The tipping point for her resignation, Hamu said, was the government's decision to give priority to a multibillion-dollar development plan and put the Ministry of Cities in charge of its Sustainable Amazon project. “The environmental area was relegated to no priority. She got tired of the thankless struggle,” Hamu said. “It's a tremendous loss for Brazil, at home and abroad.” Silva was a colleague of the late rain forest activist Chico Mendes, who was shot to death in 1988 in the western Amazon state of Acre. She earned a reputation for defying developers and setting stringent conditions for logging permits and environmental licenses. Her positions antagonized pro-development ministers within the government, giving rise to rumors that President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva wanted to fire her but feared she would gain martyr status. The president's office has yet to comment on the resignation.