Greenpeace, inspired by recent news from the Brazilian government, which shows that last year the deforestation of the Amazon rainforest reached the second-highest level on record, created the prize Golden Chainsaw to reward those responsible for the devastation.
Data from the Lula administration revealed the destruction in the Amazon forest of an area of 26,130 square km, the equivalent to 8.600 soccer fields a day.
According to information published at the Brazilian Greenpeace site, the award will go to the Brazilian "whose talent, action or inaction are decisive for the pitiable rate of deforestation in the Amazon."
Visitors to the site are invited to vote for his favorite candidate. The six nominees are Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, Chief of Staff José Dirceu, Finance Minister Antonio Palocci, Agriculture Minister Roberto Rodrigues plus two governors: Blairo Maggi from the state of Mato Grosso and Simão Jatene from Pará.
Greenpeace calls the new award - "the coveted illegal wooden statuette" - a prize to the exterminator of the future of the Amazon. The winner should be announced June 6, during Environment Week.
The international environment organization calls Blairo Maggi, the governor of Mato Grosso, the "absolute champion of deforestation," holding him responsible for 48% of the 2004 Amazon devastation.
Known as the Soy King, Maggi has higher political ambitions like the presidency. One of his famous phrases that is constantly repeated: "This forest business has no future."
Roberto Rodrigues, the Agriculture Minister, and also a soy grower, is presented as a believer in agribusiness and stronger believer in deforestation.
José Dirceu, according to the Greens, has power and is the coordinator of the "uncoordinated" Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Deforestation in the Legal Amazon. He is seen as the reason for such plan being toothless and ineffective.
Lula is shown as a busy chief who promises a sustainable model for the Amazon and on the other hand considers the environment an obstacle to Brazil's economic development.
Palocci, Finance Minister, therefore the man with the safe's key, appears as someone who praises agribusinesses and applauds the export surpluses. According to Greenpeace, he has no money for the departments involved in environment and Amazon protection.
Pará's Governor, whose state comes in second in deforestation, is exposed as a champion of slave work and murder of peasants.
Besides the popular vote category, the Golden Chainsaw will also have a second flavor, with prizes being decided by experts, which include journalists, researchers and ONG representatives.
Greenpeace Brazil - www.greenpeace.org.br