“In order to save the planet, first we must become aware that it is not enough to change our inadequate technologies or the inadequate use we are making of natural resources. Instead, we must change our inadequate attitude towards technology and natural resources and perceive ourselves as a form of existence which depends on other forms of existence. When we start perceiving ourselves like that, we will certainly make fewer mistakes, and we will need to correct less and caution more.”
Born in 1958 in the state of Acre, Senator Marina Silva (Maria Osmarina Marina Silva de Souza Vaz de Lima) lived her life in favour of the preservation of the environment, sustainability and the appreciation of local and traditional communities in the Amazon forest. She was elected senator in 1994 and again in 2002, period in which she presented several legislative projects, as the one that regulates the use of Brazilian biological resources and the knowledge of traditional communities. From 2003 to 2006, she took over the position of Environment Minister, establishing a new environmental management programme with the cooperation of certain government sectors and the society, creating the Plan of Action for the Prevention and Control of Deforestation, cutting back over 50% of the deforestation rate in the Amazon in the period of 2004-2006. Considered one of the 100 most influential parliament members of the National Congress, her biography was published in Brazil and abroad. Amongst her many awards is the United Nations’ highest recognition in the environmental field, the nomination as Champion of the Earth in 2007, and a Sustainable Development Award, awarded by the Ecology and Development Foundation (Fundación de Ecología y Desarrolo, Spain) . She received the Goldmann Environmental Prize in 1996, and was also selected as one of the “25 woman in action in the world for Life on Earth” in 2007 by the United Nations.