Source: www.sophieprize.org

Marina Silva, Brazilian Eco-Warrior & Politician

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It is said that Nature protects if it is protected. Marina Silva of Brazil happens to be on the forefront of Nature protection in Brazil. Marina Silva was born on 8 February, 1958, at Acre in Brazil. Her family with Portuguese roots has black African lineage. Her ancestral profession includes rubber tapping.

Orphaned at 16, young Marina moved to the State Capital Rio Branco to study. She received a certificate in Education and a Degree  in holy faith from the University of Acre at 26. Politically active Marina helped create Acre’s first workers ‘ union.

She led a demonstration along with Chico Mendez to win against deforestation and the outplacement of forest communities from the traditional location. In 1994 Silva became the first ever rubber tapper to be elected to the Federal Senate of Brazil. As a native Amazonian she got support for environmental protection of the reserves as well as for social justice and sustainable development in the Amazon region. 

As a Senator she was responsible for an integrated policy for sustainable development legislation. In 2003 she  was appointed as an Environment Minister by President Lula. She  conducted  operations against deforestation. Silva resigned in 2008 due to differences of opinion about the eco-policy.

Silva joined the Green Party in 2009. She contested the Senate election on the issue of “Education for Knowledge Society”& “Ecology applied to a sustainable society “. She  became a Senator again.  Silva was made one of the eight flag bearers for opening of  London Summer Olympics in2012 by the London Olympic Committee.

In April 2014 Eduardo Campos  chose  Silva as  his  Vice – Presidential Candidate in his bid for Presidency of Brazil. Campos died in May, so Silva became the Presidential Candidate of the Brazilian Socialist Party. She lost that election. But Silva again contested  for the Presidency in 2018 as Never Give Up was her slogan. This time she  was the Candidate of the Sustainable Network Party. Silva’s running mate was Eduardo Jorge of the Green Party. Silva lost this election by a narrow margin. 

Silva is considered to be a centrist & an environmentalist.  She has devoted all her life for the people as well as nature. Married to Fabio Lima she has four children. She is an icon for eco – warriors around the world.

Govind Tekale

A retired teacher at Sainik School Kazhakootam, besides his lifelong reading passion he is now an avid writer.

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