Prize recognizes largest contributor to Amazon rainforest destruction
May 27, 2005
The environmental group Greenpeace nominated President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and five others for its first “Golden Chainsaw” prize — to be awarded to the Brazilian deemed to have contributed most to the Amazon’s destruction.
TIME TO GET THIS CONTENT STARTED.
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Are rainforests still worth saving? – 20-April-2005
Rainforests around the world still continue to fall. Does it really make a difference?
Another look at global rainforest conservation – 19-April-2005
With Earth Day approaching it is appropriate to take another look at conservation efforts in the world’s tropical rainforests, which today are disappearing from the face of the globe. Despite growing international concern, rainforests continue to be destroyed at a pace exceeding 80,000 acres (32,000 hectares) per day. So, what should be done?
Figures released last week from the Brazilian government showed that 10,088 square miles of rain forest were destroyed in the 12 months ending in August 2004. Deforestation in the Amazon in 2004 was the second worst ever as rain forest was cleared for cattle ranches and soy farms
Greenpeace nominated Lula, his chief of staff Jose Dirceu, Finance Minister Antonio Palocci, Agriculture Minister Roberto Rodrigues, Mato Grosso state Governor Blairo Maggi and Para state Governor Simao Jatene.
The prize will be given to “the Brazilian personality whose action or inaction were decisive in the incredible levels of deforestation in the Amazon,” according to a Greenpeace release.
Governor of the State of Mato Grosso, absolute champion of
deforestation. (The state was responsible for 48 percent of the total
during 2003-04). Considered the “King of Soya”, he longs for the
presidency of Brazil. Author of the celebrated phrase, “This
forests does not have a future”. And, if it depends on him, it
Minister of Agriculture in Brasilia and soy farmer in Maranhão, he is
absolutely convinced that agribusiness is the salvation of farming. Refuses to recognise the relation between deforestation
and the advance of agribusiness.
First minister in line of command in the Lula Government and Chief of
the Civil House. Co-ordinator of the “Plan of Action for the
Prevention and Control of Deforestation in the Legal Amazônia” and
greatly responsible for the lack of its implementation.
Luís Inácio Lula da Silva
President of the Republic of Brazil and ultimately responsible for its
actions and inactions. Although he promotes a sustainable model for
the Amazon, the protection of the
environment in his government until now is considered a mere obstacle
Secretary of the Treasury and holder of the key to the
safe. He compliments agribusiness and he applauds
increases in exports while the government institutions and
agencies who protect the environment receive less and less
Governor of the State of Pará which has been historically the vice-leader in deforestation, but the winner of the prizes in the
categories: violence and murders in the field, slave labour, illegal
occupation of land and activities of inherent mismanagement in the
process of deforestation.
Paulo Adario, Greenpeace’s Amazon coordinator, warns “It’s a very difficult choice. All six are strong candidates.”
The award has two prizes: public – to be decided by direct vote on the internet – and environmental activists and journalists will make a “critics’ choice”. The winner, to be announced on June 6, will be awarded a statue made from illegally logged wood.
The article used information from Greenpeace and Reuters News Service
The background image shows deforestation associated with the Tierras Bajas project in eastern Bolivia where people have been resettled from the Altiplano to cultivate soybeans. The photo is from NASA’s Earth Observatory.