Last week, Brazil held its first round of presidential elections, and one of sitting president Dilma Rousseff’s main challengers came with a very unusual background for a politician: she spent most of her career protecting the environment.
Marina Silva hails from the remote Brazilian state of Acre, and spent her early years working to protect the Amazon rainforest. She was eventually named environmental minister under Dilma’s predecessor, Luis Inacio Lula da Silva (perhaps the fact that they have the same last name helped), and has an impressive track record there: the UN named her “champion of the Earth”. Eventually, she broke off from Lula’s party, of which Dilma remains a member, changing parties several times before settling on the Brazilian Green Party.
When the elections came around, Marina (as the Brazilians call her) didn’t make the cut. It was bad news for the environment: the country no longer such a stellar defender of the environment as a candidate.… Read the rest