From: Reuters
Published May 14, 2008 04:49 PM

Brazil names former activist as environment chief

BRASILIA (Reuters) - Carlos Minc, a co-founder of the Green Party in Brazil, was named as the country's new environment minister on Wednesday, a day after the resignation of high-profile Amazon defender Marina Silva.

Minc, currently Rio de Janeiro state's environment secretary, takes over the task of balancing demands for the protection of the Amazon rain forest against growing pressure for it to be used for agricultural and energy production.

A spokesman for President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said Minc had accepted the post.

Silva, a former rubber tapper and union activist who was seen as a staunch defender of the Amazon, quit on Tuesday after becoming increasingly isolated within the government.

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Analysts said her departure was due to losing a series of battles to stop infrastructure projects in the Amazon and over control of government development policy in the world's largest rain forest.

(Reporting by Stuart Grudgings; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

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