Daniela Mercury Lends Support to Sustainability Forum in Brazil’s Amazon
We have always been huge fans of Daniela Mercury because of her hard work to entrench cultural sustainability throughout Brazil. Now we can say that Daniela is becoming an ambassador for Brazilians’ advocacy for environmental sustainability, too. What is so admirable about Daniela Mercury is her breathtaking work ethic and what seems to be her inability to rest. Just a few short weeks from her annual performances at Salvador da Bahia’s Carnaval (an event she has revived and turned into a renowned musical extravaganza), she was in Manaus, the Amazon’s largest city, for the International Forum on Sustainability. Attendees included Avatar and Titanic’s director James Cameron, former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Al Gore. Mercury was hardly a passive observer: in fact, after Governor Schwarzenegger spoke, she asked him when the US would eliminate the tariff on Brazilian cane ethanol. While this portal concentrates on issues that challenge Brazil’s cerrado, the Amazon is still a region that faces peril. With Brazil already established as one of the world’s most important food exporters, pressure on pristine regions like that of the Amazon will only continue. While environmental concerns definitely matter, there is a human cost to unchecked development as well. Mercury’s appearance, and advocacy for people who have done nothing but live their lives the way they see fit, gives a compassionate face to advocates of sustainability in and outside of Brazil. The pictures of Mercury with an indigenous leader below display the emotional price that is paid when outside investors treat a land like a commodity without any consideration for the folks who have long been vested in the region. Brazil has made impressive strides the past decade, and its leadership and business community have appeared to take notice that economic development can coexist with conservation. Let’s hope they make such a commitment. It’s refreshing, but not surprising, for Daniela Mercury to show more than a vested interest in another area of her country. Pictures courtesy of her New York-based publicist. To learn more about Daniela Mercury, join her International Facebook Page. You can follow Leon Kaye on Twitter.