Brasilien: Marina Silva

We women already work. We are already a success.

— Marina Silva

Maria Osmarina Marina Silva de Lima (1958), known nationally as Marina Silva, is the State Minister of the Environment, in the government of Lula da Silva. Before, she was a community leader, a town councilor, a federal deputy and senator, always as a part of PT (Labor Party). She has four children, and she is an emblem of the defense of the Amazon forest and of the people that live there. She is a firm defender of sustainable development.

She defines herself as a woman moved by faith and by determination: “Faith so as not to be discouraged by the impossible. Determination is to face the difficulties of what is possible.” Marina Silva was born in the heart of a rubber plantation in the countryside of Acre, one of the states of the Legal Amazon. She and her family worked removing latex from rubber trees, extractive activity by excellence and one depreciated by tradition. Her future would be like the one of thousands of girls born under adverse economic conditions and whose dreams are crushed in a quotidian of struggle. That would have been her future, but Marina comprehended the invaluable importance of political organization. Marina Silva stood out beside Chico Mendes, in the firm defense of a Sustainable Amazon, which means the defense of an economic action that guarantees quality of life for the people and the preservation of natural resources. Chico Mendes was assassinated in 1988 by farmers. Marina kept on listening to the heart of the people from the forest. With her undeniable charisma, she obtained the Ministry of the Environment with the support of environmentalists, community leaders, groups and associations of Amazonian women. In Brazil, the defense of the environment is a crusade. By tradition, there are two forces which are constantly colliding. One of them, predatory, aiming to become wealthier and walking over everything: people, animals, forests. The other one acts in benefit of the workers' lives and of the biodiversity. Marina is for the protection of everything that lives; a woman that esteems values. According to her, the real Gross Internal Product of a nation is its human values: “Maybe it is a soft internal product.” Soft and powerful like the Amazon–like Marina Silva.

Ministério do Meio Ambiente (Ministry of the Environment)