Brazil's environment minister, Marina Silva, quit her post on April 13 in despair over the obstacles she faced in reining in destruction of the Amazon rainforest. In the resignation, Silva said she stepped down because of the difficulty she had been having for some time in carrying out the national environment agenda.
Silva, also an environmentalist, was frequently at odds with development interests of Lula da Silva's government, including powerful farmers and ranchers who want to turn the Amazon into Brazil's agricultural breadbasket. She had opposed several infrastructure projects, including hydroelectric dams and highways, that are expected to fuel deforestation in the Amazon. Just a few days before her resignation, Silva unveiled eco-friendly development plans for the rainforest, which included emergency measures to combat illegal logging.
Green groups say her resignation could be a setback to Brazil's efforts to protect the Amazon.
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