At the peak of the claim and counter-claim thrown around over Amazongate Simon Lewis a forest researcher at the University of Leeds emerged briefly at its centre. Lewis’ defense of the actions of the IPCC helped the organization avoid confronting its use of advocacy and environmental pressure group material from the WWF. A little-examined fact at the time was that Lewis’ parent department was involved along with contributions from the University of East Anglia (UEA), the Royal Society, the David and Lucille Packard Foundation and other non-governmental organizations in a UN REDD+ pilot project in Tanzania. Called ‘Valuing the Arc’, it was designed to work out putting a ‘price on carbon’ to provide “input to the policy process, … including PES mechanisms”. ‘PES’, is payment for ecosystem services, i.e., REDD. The most prominent NGO at the the centre of the project? WWF-Tanzania.
Marina Silva, senator from the Brazilian state of Acre, presidential candidate for 2010 coming in third but polling an impressive 19% of the votes, is a charismatic figure. An ardent environmentalist, she is popular and well respected in the movement.
She was environment minister for Brazil from 2003 to 2008 and is considered a key architect in Brazil’s changed stance in the UN climate talks and willingness to strike compromises.
In April this year, she gave what was termed a rousing speech at the National Mall, Washington DC. It is said that she used Facebook for campaigning and appealed to young voters on sustainability issues.