Marina Silva, Minister of Evnironment in the Brazilian government, has finally decided she is unable to succeed in her battle to save the rainforest and will depart her position. In a letter to President Luiz Inacio Lula de Silva, Ms. Silva said her efforts to protect the rainforest were being thwarted by powerful business lobbies. “Your Excelency was a witness to the growing resistance found by our team in important sectors of the government and society” she wrote the president. Her departure makes clear that Lula has drifted away from his promises to make a vigorous effort to save the rainforest from destruction by business interests.
The worldwise boom in agricultural coomodities has created an ongoing thirst for land and energy in Brazil and the result will undoubtedly prove catastropic for the rainforest. The president has been under pressure from business interests to proceed with plans for agricultural expansion since there are billions of dollars at stake in using rainforest land.
Marclo Furtado, campaign director for Greenpeace Brazil, says “Although Lula has adppted the environment talk, the practice is development at whatever cost.” The government is already prepared to construct a massive hydroelectric dam on the Xingu River despite opposition for environment groups. Money talks and the environment walks.