Source: The Independent
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."