Degree in History. Former teacher and trade unionist. Backed legislative reforms designed to ensure better education, health, hygiene, communication and transport, human rights, socio-cultural diversity and financial compensation for local government conservation units. 1984, organized peaceful demonstrations against deforestation of the Amazon; 1985, joined Labour Party (PT). 1992, State Deputy from Acre; 2003, Minister of Environment and Amazon Region of Brazil. Recipient of awards: recommended for Champion of the Earth award, UN; Goldmann Award for Environment, as representative of Central and South America , (1996); Tribute to 25 World Women in Action for Life on Earth, UN Programme for Environment - UN; Premio al Desarrollo Sostenible, Fundacion Ecologia y Desarrollo, Barcelona (2003); Most Influential Women Award Brazil, Forbes Magazine Brazil (2006).