Vandana Shiva will speak about her work in the field of organic agriculture and close relations with the local communities.
Vandana Shiva has contributed in fundamental ways to changing the practice and paradigms of agriculture and food. Her powerful message to the world is that we are nothing without living soil. She has campaigned internationally on issues surrounding biotechnology and genetic engineering. Combining her sharp intellectual enquiry with courageous activism, her work spans teaching at universities to working with peasants in rural India and advising governments and organizations worldwide.
An environmentalist, physicist (PhD), renowned author and a laureate of Right Livelihood Award (1993), Vandana was identified as one of the Seven Most Powerful Women on the Globe by Forbes Magazine in 2010.
In 1982, she founded an independent institute the Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology in Dehra Dun, dedicated to high quality and independent research to address the most significant ecological and social issues of our times, working in close partnership with local communities and social movements. In 1991 she founded Navdanya, a national movement to protect the diversity and integrity of living resources, especially native seed, and to promote organic farming and fair trade. For last two decades, Navdanya has worked with local communities and organisations, serving more than 500,000 farmers, resulting in the conservation of more than 3000 rice varieties from across India. The organisation has also established 60 seed banks in 16 states across the country. In 2004, Vandana started Bija Vidyapeeth, an international college for sustainable living in Doon Valley in collaboration with Schumacher College, UK.
Her books The Violence of the Green Revolution and Monocultures of the Mind pose essential challenges to the dominant paradigm of non-sustainable, industrial agriculture. Through her books Biopiracy, Stolen Harvest and Water Wars, she has made visible the social, economic and ecological costs of corporate-led globalisation. In 2003, when the US initiated a dispute against the EU to remove the bans and moratoria on genetically modified crops and foods, Vandana launched a global citizens campaign on GMOs in the WTO.
Her contributions to gender issues are also nationally and internationally recognized. Her book Staying Alive dramatically shifts popular perceptions of Third World women. She founded the gender unit at the International Centre for Mountain Development (ICIMOD) in Kathmandu, and was a founding Board Member of the Women Environment and Development Organization (WEDO). She has also initiated Diverse Women for Diversity, an international movement of women working for food and agriculture.
Interesting fact: Vandana Shiva is currently working with the Government of Bhutan to make Bhutan 100% organic country.
“We will continue to create the other world that we are sowing – seed by seed, inch-by-inch of soil, person by person, community by community – until all of this planet is embraced in one circle of a resurgent life and resurgent love. We will not give up.”
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