Vandana Shiva

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Vandana Shiva
Dr. Vandana Shiva DS.jpg
Born Vandana Shiva
(1952-11-05) 5 November 1952 (age 62)
Dehra Dun, Uttar Pradesh (present-day Uttarakhand), India
Nationality Indian
Alma mater University of Guelph
University of Western Ontario
Occupation Philosopher, environmentalist, author, professional speaker
Religion Hindu
Awards Right Livelihood Award (1993)
Sydney Peace Prize (2010)
Fukuoka Asian Culture Prize (2012)
from the BBC programme Saving Species, 23 December 2011[1]

Website
www.navdanya.org
Video-Statement (2014)

Vandana Shiva (Hindi: वंदना शिवा: born 5 November 1952) is an Indian environmental activist and anti-globalization author.[2] Shiva, currently based in Delhi, has authored more than 20 books.[3] She received her Philosophy PhD from the University of Western Ontario Faculty of Arts and Humanities, in Canada, in 1978 with the doctoral dissertation "Hidden variables and locality in quantum theory." [4]

She is one of the leaders and board members of the International Forum on Globalization, (along with Jerry Mander, Edward Goldsmith, Ralph Nader, Jeremy Rifkin, et al.), and a figure of the global solidarity movement known as the alter-globalization movement.[5] She has argued for the wisdom of many traditional practices, as is evident from her interview in the book Vedic Ecology (by Ranchor Prime) that draws upon India's Vedic heritage. She is a member of the scientific committee of the Fundacion IDEAS, Spain's Socialist Party's think tank.[6] She is also a member of the International Organization for a Participatory Society.[7] She received the Right Livelihood Award in 1993, and numerous other prizes.

Early life and education[edit]

Vandana Shiva 2007 in Cologne, Germany

Vandana Shiva was born in the valley of Dehradun, to a father who was the conservator of forests and a farmer mother with a love for nature. She was educated at St Mary's School in Nainital, and at the Convent of Jesus and Mary, Dehradun. She pursued an M.A. in the philosophy of science at the University of Guelph (Ontario, Canada) in 1977, with a thesis entitled "Changes in the concept of periodicity of light".[8] In 1978, she completed and received her PhD at the University of Western Ontario faculty of graduate studies. Her thesis was titled "Hidden variables and locality in quantum theory.".[4] She later went on to interdisciplinary research in science, technology, and environmental policy at the Indian Institute of Science and the Indian Institute of Management in Bangalore.

Career[edit]

Vandana Shiva has fought for changes in the practice and paradigms of agriculture and food. Intellectual property rights, biodiversity, biotechnology, bioethics, genetic engineering, are among the fields where Shiva has contributed with ideas and through activist campaigns. She has assisted grassroots organizations of the Green movement in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Ireland, Switzerland, and Austria with campaigns against genetic engineering.

In 1987, she founded the Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology, which led to the creation of Navdanya in 1991, a national movement to protect the diversity and integrity of living resources, especially native seed, the promotion of organic farming and fair trade. For last two decades Navdanya has worked with local communities and organizations serving many men and women farmers. Navdanya's efforts have resulted in conservation of more than 2000 rice varieties from all over the country and have established 111 seed banks in 17 states across the country.[citation needed] More than 70,000 farmers are primary members of Navdanya. In 2004 Shiva started Bija Vidyapeeth, an international college for sustainable living in Doon Valley, in collaboration with Schumacher College, U.K.

In the area of intellectual property rights and biodiversity, Shiva and her team at the Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology challenged the biopiracy of Neem, Basmati and Wheat. Besides her activism, she has also served on expert groups of government on Biodiversity and IPR legislation.[citation needed]

Her first book, Staying Alive (1988) helped redefine perceptions of third world women. In 1990, she wrote a report for the FAO on Women and Agriculture entitled, "Most Farmers in India are 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's Environment & Development Organization (WEDO)

Shiva has also served as an adviser to governments in India and abroad as well as non-governmental organisations, including the International Forum on Globalization, the Women's Environment & Development Organization and the Third World Network. Shiva chairs the Commission on the Future of Food set up by the Region of Tuscany in Italy and is a member of the Scientific Committee which advised former prime minister Zapatero of Spain. Shiva is a member of the Steering Committee of the Indian People's Campaign against WTO. She is a councillor of the World Future Council. Shiva serves on Government of India Committees on Organic Farming. Vandana Shiva participated in the Stock Exchange of Visions project in 2007.[citation needed]

Time Magazine identified Shiva as an "environmental hero" in 2003, and Asia Week has called her one of the five most powerful communicators of Asia. Loyola Marymount University has asked her to speak on numerous occasions on the topic of eco-feminism, where she continuously attracts large crowds of interested students.[citation needed]

Vandana Shiva is working on a 3-year project with the Government of Bhutan, at the invitation of the Prime Minister Jigme Thinley, advising the government on how to achieve their objective of becoming an organic sovereign country (the first fully 100% organic country).[9]

For biodiversity[edit]

Vandana Shiva has spent much of her life in the defence and celebration of biodiversity and indigenous knowledge. She has worked to promote biodiversity in agriculture to increase productivity, nutrition, farmer's incomes and climate resilience. It is for this work she was recognised as an 'Environmental Hero' by Time magazine in 2003. Her work on agriculture started in 1984 after the violence in Punjab and the gas leak in Bhopal from Union Carbide's pesticide manufacturing plant. Her studies for the UN University led to the publication of her book The Violence of the Green Revolution. [10][11][12]

In an interview with David Barsamian, Shiva argues that the seed-chemical package promoted by Green Revolution agriculture has depleted fertile soil, destroyed living ecosystems, and negatively impacted people’s health.[13] In her work Shiva cites data demonstrating that today there are over 1400 pesticides that enter the food system across the world,[14] because only 1% of pesticides sprayed act on the target pest.[15] Vandana Shiva, alongside her sister Dr. Mira Shiva, argues that the health costs of increasing pesticide and fertiliser use range from cancer to kidney failure to heart disease.[16]

Golden rice[edit]

Shiva also opposes Golden rice, which, according to scientific experts, could prevent millions of children from becoming blind every year and alleviate vitamin A deficiency of 250 million people in the developing countries.[17] Shiva said that the women of Bengal grow and eat 150 greens which can do the same.[17] Martina McGloughlin, director of the biotechnology program at the University of California at Davis angrily compared this to Marie Antoinette, who is attributed as to having said that the peasants should eat cake if they don't have bread. The Nutrition Foundation of India's study of indigenous food in India confirms that there are plants with much higher beta carotene than what is being touted to be the selling point of 'Golden Rice' [18] Doctor Patrick Moore writes that most of these 250 million children don't eat much else than a bowl of rice a day.[19] Doctor Adrian Dubock says that golden rice is as cheap as other rice and vitamin A deficiency is the greatest reason for blindness and also causes 28% of global preschool child mortality.[20]

Shiva argues that Golden Rice is more harmful than beneficial in her explanation of what she calls the "Golden Rice hoax": "Unfortunately, Vitamin A rice is a hoax, and will bring further dispute to plant genetic engineering where public relations exercises seem to have replaced science in promotion of untested, unproven and unnecessary technology... This is a recipe for creating hunger and malnutrition, not solving it."[21]

At the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the director of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research, Ismail Serageldin, asked: "do you want 2 to 3 million children a year to go blind and 1 million to die of vitamin A deficiency, just because you object to the way golden rice was created?"[17] In a 2013 report "The economic power of the Golden Rice opposition" two economists from Munich University and the University of California at Berkley calculated that the absence of Golden Rice in India has caused the loss of over 1.4 million life man years in the previous ten years.[22]

GM, India, and suicides[edit]

According to Shiva, "Soaring seed prices in India have resulted in many farmers being mired in debt and turning to suicide". The creation of seed monopolies, the destruction of alternatives, the collection of superprofits in the form of royalties, and the increasing vulnerability of monocultures has created a context for debt, suicides, and agrarian distress. According to data from the Indian government, nearly 75 percent rural debt is due to purchased inputs. Farmers’ debt grows as GMO corporation's profits grow. It is in this systemic sense that GM seeds are those of suicide. An internal advisory by the agricultural ministry of India in January 2012 had this to say to the cotton growing states in India: "Cotton farmers are in a deep crisis since shifting to Bt cotton. The spate of farmer suicides in 2011-12 has been particularly severe among Bt cotton farmers."[23]

However, farmer suicides had begun to grow before the introduction of the GM seeds, and the growth decreased when GM seeds were introduced. International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) analyzed twice academic articles and government data and concluded the decrease and that there was no evidence on "resurgence" of farmer suicides, GM cotton technology has been very effective in India and there have been many other reasons for the suicides.[24][25][26]

Shiva replied to these assertions, claiming that her critics had reduced the issue to GM cottons and ignored the issue of seed monopolies, and that the suicide figures were from the government statistics of the National Bureau of crime records.[27]

Ecofeminism[edit]

Vandana Shiva plays a major role in the global Ecofeminist movement. According to her article Empowering Women,[28] Shiva suggests that a more sustainable and productive approach to agriculture can be achieved through reinstating a system of farming in India that is more centered on engaging women. She advocates against the prevalent "patriarchal logic of exclusion," claiming that a woman-focused system would change the current system in an extremely positive manner.[29]

Some of the viewpoints held by Vandana Shiva have been criticised as being essentialist by Cecile Jackson.[30]

Criticism[edit]

Guillaume Gruere et al. state "there is no evidence in available data of a “resurgence” of farmer suicides in India in the last five years".[31]

Science journalist Ronald Bailey wrote that Vandana Shiva is a "luddite": if something is new, she opposes it.[32]

Investigative journalist Michael Specter, in an article in the New Yorker on 25 August 2014 entitled "Seeds of Doubt", raised concerns over a number of Shiva's claims regarding GMOs and some of her campaigning methods. He wrote: "Shiva’s absolutism about G.M.O.s can lead her in strange directions."[33] In the same piece, Specter also questioned the credibility of Shiva's academic qualifications. He wrote, "Shiva refers to her scientific credentials in almost every appearance, yet she often dispenses with the conventions of scientific inquiry."[33]

Journalist Keith Kloor, in an article published in Discover magazine on 23 October 2014, entitled "The Rich Allure of a Peasant Champion", revealed that Shiva charges US$40,000 per speaking lecture, plus a business-class air ticket from New Delhi. Kloor writes: "She is often heralded as a tireless “defender of the poor,” someone who “has courageously taken her stand among the peasant farmers of India.”[34]

Film[edit]

Vandana Shiva has been interviewed for a number of documentary films including Roshni: Ray of Light;[35] One Water,[citation needed] Deconstructing Supper: Is Your Food Safe?, The Corporation, Thrive, Dirt! The Movie, and This is What Democracy Looks Like (a documentary about the Seattle WTO protests of 1999).[36]

Shiva's focus on water has caused her to appear in a number of films on this topic. These films include "Ganga From the Ground Up," a documentary on water issues in the river Ganges;[37] Blue Gold: World Water Wars by Sam Bozzo; Irena Salina's documentary Flow: For Love of Water (in competition at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival), and the PBS NOW documentary On Thin Ice.[38]

On the topic of genetically modified crops, she was featured in the documentary Fed Up!: Genetic Engineering, Industrial Agriculture and Sustainable Alternatives and the documentary The World According to Monsanto, a film made by the French independent journalist Marie-Monique Robin.

Vandana appeared in a documentary film about the Dalai Lama, entitled Dalai Lama Renaissance.[39]

In 2010, Vandana was interviewed in a documentary about honeybees and colony collapse disorder, entitled "Queen of the Sun."[40]

Vandana Shiva was interviewed in the documentary film Roshni: Ray of Light.[35] Roshni lives in the Land of the Gods known as Dev Bhoomi and has only one dream, to travel to the Land of Illusions Mumbai city known as Maya Nagari. Located at the foothills of the Himalayas, the Indian states of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand are known as the Land of the Gods.

Recognition[edit]

In 1993, Vandana received the Right Livelihood Award "...For placing women and ecology at the heart of modern development discourse."[41]

Additional awards include:

Vandana Shiva in Johannesburg, 2002
  • 1993: Order of the Golden Ark, by his Royal Highness Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands for outstanding services to conservation and ecology
  • 1993: "Global 500 Roll of Honour", by UNEP for outstanding environmental work[42]
  • 1993: "Earth Day International Award" by Earth Day International for her dedicated commitment to the preservation of he planet as demonstrated by her actions, leadership and the setting of examples for the rest of the world
  • 1993: "Right Livelihood Award" for pioneering insights into the social and environmental costs of the dominant development process, and her ability to work with and for local people and communities in the articulation and implementation of alternatives
  • 1993: The VIDA SANA International Award, Spain, for her contribution to Ecology and Food Security
  • 1995: The Pride of the Doon Award from Doon Citizen Council, Dehra Dun, India, in recognition of distinguished contributions to the region
  • 1997: The Golden Plant Award (International Award of Ecology), Denmark, for the remarkable contribution for Ecology and Environment
  • 1997: Alfonso Comin Award, Barcelona, Spain, for important contribution both scientifically and personally to the ecologist and feminist movement in India
  • 1998: Commemorative Medal by Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn of Thailand on the occasion of the Celebration of the 18th World Food Day, organised by FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, Bangkok
  • 1998: Medal of the Presidency of the Italian Republic from the International Scientific Committee of the Pio Manzu Centre at Rimini, Italy during the XXIV Pio Manzu International Conference on "The Horizons of Hermes"
  • 2000: Pellegrino Artusi Award, Italy for original contribution to reflections on relations between humans and food
  • 2001: HORIZON 3000 Award of Austria in recognition to rendering useful service for defending Human Rights and Preservation of Peace and for the vision of a world wide fair development in the third millennium
  • 2007 The Blue Planet Award from the German Ethecon Foundation,[43][44] one of the comparatively very few 'grass-root' foundations[45] for her work "with a vision and perspective far beyond the next generation."[46]
  • 2008: The LennonOno Grant for Peace
  • 2009: The Save The World Award
  • 2010: The Sydney Peace Prize[47]
  • 2011: The Calgary Peace Prize from the Consortium for Peace Studies at the University of Calgary[48]
  • 2011: The Doshi Family Bridgebuilder Award, for cultivating mutual understanding between cultures[49][50]
  • 2011: The Thomas Merton Award
  • 2012: The EarthE Award[51]
  • 2013: Honoris causa Laurea (Master of Science degree) in Nutrition Science from the University of Calabria, Italy[52]

Also awarded the "John M. Berry Sr. Leadership Award" for dedicated vision and commitment to family farm agriculture; the Special International Literary Prize "Ken Saro Wiwa" awarded by Acquiambiente, Italy for her book Water Wars; the "Reading for the Environment Book Prize" by the German Foundation for the Environment for her book Tomorrow's Biodiversity

Awarded the Yo Dona Award by Yo Dona Magazine, Spain

Publications[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Sustaining Life". Saving Species. 23 December 2011. BBC Radio 4. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b018ft1c. Retrieved 18 January 2014.
  2. ^ Who's Who of Women and the Environment – Vandana Shiva United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
  3. ^ "Vandana Shiva's Publications". Retrieved 2011-02-24. 
  4. ^ a b "Hidden variables and locality in quantum theory / by Vandana Shiva" (microform). Department of Philosophy, Graduate Studies, University of Western Ontario, 1978. 18 July 2008. Retrieved 2012-09-22. 
  5. ^ Chattergee, D.K. (2011). Encyclopedia of Global Justice, A-I Vol. 1. ISBN 9781402091599. Retrieved 2014-10-22. 
  6. ^ "Vandana Shiva-WOMAN OF ACTION". Retrieved 2014-10-22. 
  7. ^ International Organization for a Participatory Society – Interim Committee Retrieved 2012-09-25
  8. ^ Vandana Shiva (1977). Changes in the concept of periodicity of light (M.A. Thesis (microfiche)). Canadian Theses Division, National Library, Ottawa. Retrieved 22 September 2012. 
  9. ^ "News Details". MoA. 9 September 2010. Retrieved 14 April 2011. 
  10. ^ Fight Droughts with Science: Better crops could ease India's monsoon worries, HENRY I. MILLER, Stanford University's Hoover Institution, The Wall Street Journal, 12 August 2009.
  11. ^ "The Father Of The 'Green Revolution'". University of Minnesota. 25 February 2008. Archived from the original on 5 April 2009. 
  12. ^ Father of the Green Revolution - He Helped Feed the World! ja "Determining the Number Norman Borlaug - The Green Revolution", ScienceHeroes.com Tohtori Amy R. Piercen mukaan useimmat lukuisista arvioista yli miljardista ihmishengestä perustuvat ennustettuihin nälänhätiin, jotka jäivät toteutumatta, ja ovat epävarmoja. Piercen mukaan silti vaikutus kuolleisuuteen oli todella näin suuri, koska ravitsemus vaikuttaa niin voimakkaasti lapsikuolleisuuteen ja elinikään.
  13. ^ http://indiatogether.org/vandana-interviews
  14. ^ http://elibrary.worldbank.org/doi/pdf/10.1596/1813-9450-2805
  15. ^ http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2238694
  16. ^ http://www.democracynow.org/blog/2011/4/20/vandana_mira_shiva_on_corporate_malpractice_in_india_and_the_devastating_impact_on_health
  17. ^ a b c Dr. Strangelunch Or: Why we should learn to stop worrying and love genetically modified food, The Reason, Ronald Bailey, January 2001.
  18. ^ [1]
  19. ^ By opposing Golden Rice, Greenpeace defies its own values – and harms children, The Globe and Mail, 15 October 2013.
  20. ^ No, Zac Goldsmith, golden rice is not 'evil GM'. It saves people's lives, Dr. Adrian Dubock, The Guardian, 4 November 2013.
  21. ^ "THE "GOLDEN RICE" HOAX -When Public Relations replaces Science". Online.sfsu.edu. 29 June 2000. Retrieved 26 February 2014. 
  22. ^ Wesseler, J.; Zilberman, D. (2014). "The economic power of the Golden Rice opposition". Environment and Development Economics: 1. doi:10.1017/S1355770X1300065X.  edit
  23. ^ Seeds of suicide and slavery versus seeds of life and freedom, Vandana Shiva, Al Jazeera, 30 March 2013.
  24. ^ Vandana Shiva, Anti-GMO Celebrity: 'Eco Goddess' Or Dangerous Fabulist?, Jon Entine & Cami Ryan, Forbes, 1/29/2014.
  25. ^ Bt Cotton and farmer suicides in India: Reviewing the evidence, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), 2008. Abstract, page 27 and Figure 11.
  26. ^ The GMO-Suicide Myth, Keith Kloor, Issues in Science and Technology, 2014.
  27. ^ [2], Vandana Shiva, Seed Monopolies, GMOs And Farmers Suicides In India, 2014.
  28. ^ Dr. Vandana Shiva: Empowering Women 10 June 2004 by WordPress.com
  29. ^ Vandana Shiva: Empowering Women by BBC News
  30. ^ Cecile Jackson: Radical Environmental Myths: A Gender Perspective, 1995
  31. ^ Bt Cotton and farmer suicides in India, Gruere, Guillaume, Mehta-Bhatt, Purvi and Sengupta, Debdatta, International Food Policy Research Institute, 2008
  32. ^ Rebels Against the Future: Witnessing the birth of the global anti-technology movement, Ronald Bailey, The Reason, 28 February 2001.
  33. ^ a b [3], The New Yorker, 25 August 2014.
  34. ^ [4], Discover magazine, 23 October 2014.
  35. ^ a b "theunknownfilmcompany.com". theunknownfilmcompany.com. Retrieved 26 February 2014. 
  36. ^ "This Is What Democracy Looks Like DVD". AK Press. 26 February 2005. Retrieved 14 April 2011. 
  37. ^ "Gayawana". 
  38. ^ "On Thin Ice, NOW on PBS". Pbs.org. 12 March 2010. Retrieved 14 April 2011. 
  39. ^ "Dalai Lama Renaissance Documentary Film – Narrated by Harrison Ford – DVD Dali Tibet China". Dalailamafilm.com. Retrieved 14 April 2011. 
  40. ^ "Vandana Shiva". Queen of the Sun. 6 November 2010. Retrieved 14 April 2011. 
  41. ^ "Right Livelihood Award: The 'Alternative Nobel Prize'". Rightlivelihood.se. Retrieved 14 April 2011. 
  42. ^ "UNEP Global 500 Laureates – Award Winners". Global500.org. Retrieved 14 April 2011. 
  43. ^ "Prof. Dr. Jürgen Rochlitz: Laudatio auf Dr. Vandana Shiva". ethecon – Stiftung Ethik & Ökonomie. 2008. Retrieved 30 March 2013. 
  44. ^ 2008.pdf "Blue to Vandana Shiva, black to Nestlé". CSR Special: Management Next. 2008. Retrieved 30 March 2013. 
  45. ^ "What do Hugo Chavez, Vandana Shiva, and Diane Wilson Have in Common?". Chelsea Green Publishing. 2009. Retrieved 30 March 2013. 
  46. ^ "International ethecon Awards for 2013". Finance GreenWatch. 2013. Retrieved 30 March 2013. 
  47. ^ "Physicist, environmentalist wins Sydney Peace Prize – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)". Abc.net.au. 10 May 2010. Retrieved 14 April 2011. 
  48. ^ "2011 Calgary Peace Prize Recipient – Dr. Vandana Shiva | Peace Studies". Ucalgary.ca. Retrieved 14 April 2011. 
  49. ^ Nair, K.B. (11 November 2011). "Vandana Shiva Bags Doshi Bridgebuilder Award". India Journal (Santa Fe Springs). Retrieved 16 November 2011. 
  50. ^ "The Doshi Family Bridgebuilder Award". The Center for Religion & Spirituality. Loyola Marymount University. 2011. Retrieved 17 November 2011. 
  51. ^ "The EarthE Award with VandanaShiva portrait and quotes". EarthE Awards. 2012. Retrieved 4 April 2012. 
  52. ^ "Conferita la laurea ad honorem in Scienze della Nutrizione a Vandana Shiva". Retrieved 9 April 2013. 

External links[edit]