Brazil’s Lula picks Amazon defender for environment minister

By | December 30, 2022

The Associated Press reports:

Brazil´s President-elect Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva announced Thursday that Amazon activist Marina Silva will be the country´s next minister of environment. The announcement indicates the new administration will prioritize cracking down on illegal deforestation even if it means running afoul of powerful agribusiness interests.

Both attended the recent U.N. climate conference in Egypt, where Lula promised cheering crowds “zero deforestation” in the Amazon, the world’s largest rainforest and a key to fighting climate change, by 2030. “There will be no climate security if the Amazon isn’t protected,” he said.

Silva told the news network Globo TV shortly after the announcement that the name of the ministry she will lead will be changed to the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change.

Many agribusiness players and associated lawmakers resent Silva. That stems from her time as environment minister during most of Lula’s prior presidency, from 2003 to 2010.

Lula also named Sonia Guajajara, an Indigenous woman, as Brazil’s first minister of Indigenous peoples, and Carlos Fávaro, a soybean producer, as agriculture minister.

Silva was born in the Amazon and worked as a rubber tapper as an adolescent. As environment minister she oversaw the creation of dozens of conservation areas and a sophisticated strategy against deforestation, with major operations against environmental criminals and new satellite surveillance. She also helped design the largest international effort to preserve the rainforest, the mostly Norway-backed Amazon Fund. Deforestation dropped dramatically. [Continue reading…]

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