Carlos Minc was sworn in as Brazil’s environment minister on Tuesday. Minc succeeds Marina Silva, who quit after six years of uphill battling to protect the Amazon rainforest from development. Greens are cautiously optimistic about Minc, who was a founder of Brazil’s Green Party, a former environment secretary in the state of Rio de Janeiro, and one of 500 winners of a 1989 United Nations prize for environmental activism. Brazil announced Wednesday that it would set up an international donation fund for Amazon preservation, as President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (no relation to Marina Silva) attempted to downplay international concerns that the country plays too loose with rainforest protection. Said the president on Monday, “The world needs to understand that the Amazon has an owner, and that is the Brazilian people.”