People's Biodiversity festival

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The Peoples' Biodiversity Festival is a celebratory assertion that bio-diversity is a commons. It is therefore a "constructive" Gandhian protest against the moves at international fora like the CBD to privatise and monetise bio-diversity.

One such festival event was held in Nampalli Ground, Hyderabad, India from October 13 till 16th, 2012.[1] The festival reflects the shared concerns and to lay foundation for cooperation and sharing or the seed wealth and related knowledge - for inclusive, ecological self-reliance in harmony with nature.[2]


About 50 organisations consisting NGOs, Campaign organisations, Farmers associations took part in this festival as a form of gandhian protest against the CBD COP that was being held in a swank part of the city.

Each of the themes relating to bio-diversity were showcased at the festival through stalls and thematic sessions.

Session Themes[edit]

Various sessions held under different themes were ..

Ecological Agriculture & Biodiversity[edit]

13 Oct 2012

This session started with a presentation of traditional cotton. And then discussed various issues related to organic agriculture. The session was coordinated by Rajashekar, Bharat Mansata, and Dr Ramanjaneyulu.

( Follow this link for the unedited notes on this session :- )

Adivasis and Biodiversity[edit]

14th Oct 2012

Organised by, National Adivasi Alliance & FOCUS on the Global South, this session mainly discussed on community rights to sustained indigenous use of Earth's biodiversity through indigenous traditional occupations and land & forest use/tenure. The main panelist were Mr. C. Madegowda from Karnataka, Mr. Subhash Majhi from Orissa, Mr. Somaru Baiga from Chhattisgarh, Mr. Venkateshwarulu from Vishakapattanam, Ms. Suman Koreti from Chhattisgarh, Mr. Pablo Solon from Bolivia (exec. director, FOCUS)

( Follow this link for the unedited notes on this session :- )

'IPRs, Biopiracy & the Indian Legal Framework'[edit]

14th Oct 2012

This session was coordinated by Jacob Nellithanam & Bharat, and the speakers includes Dr. Vandana Shiva who also released the book ‘The Global Citizens’ Report on Seed Freedom’

Climate Change & Biodiversity[edit]

15 October 2012

Coordinated by T. Vijayendra & Sagar Dhara

'Open-source Seeds and Seed-savers Network'[edit]

15 October 2012

Organised by CSA and Coordinated by Dr Ramanjaneyulu, Rajashekar & Krishna Prasad

‘Rights of Mother Earth'[edit]

15 October 2012

Coordinated by Afsar Jaffri & Jacob

Biodiversity & Trade'[edit]

15 October 2012

Coordinated by Kannaiyan & Jacob

( Follow this link for the unedited notes on this session :- )

'GMOs & Bio-safety'[edit]

Coordinated by Ramoo & Rajashekar

Land, Livelihoods & Biodiversity'[edit]

Organised by NAPM, Coordinated by Saraswati Jeevan Kumar from Human Rights Forum, SarashWatiKavula, MedhaPatkar were among the speakers.

( Follow this link for the unedited notes on this session :-,_Livelihoods_and_Biodiversity )

Demonstrated alternatives in stalls[edit]

The main strategy of the festival is to showcase the bio-diversity built by the people and other species on this planet. Thus it seeks to demonstrate the various strains of food - grains, vegetables, fruit that have been developed in the commons which should remain in the public domain. It also seeks to encourage in situ propagation by farmers, artisans, and even city dwellers. This is the bio-diversity which the proponents believe is a sufficient and a sustainable pool for adaptation to various changes that are being caused by climate change.


Centre for Education and Documentation along with Knowledge in Civil Society(KICS) with the help of Wikipedia Hyderabad group, conducted WIKITHON during the festival. It was an attempt to show how the tool like WIKI can be used to gather information on peoples knowledge during a public event like this. Various participating organisations contributed to the wikibased system that is created for this purpose, which will be integrated to the Wikipedia.

Wikipedia Hyderabad Volunteers, conducted a training on how to use wiki.

Other events as part of the festival[edit]

Seed Festivals in Calcutta, Mumbai, Dharti Utsav, held in Anantapur on environment day every year since 200?, in different parts of this drought prone districts showcases the various types of millets that can grow well in these conditions. These strains were disappearing. The Dharti Utsav also showcases local varieties of fowl, goat, cattle, which are now being re-juvenated under programmes taken up by civil society in the district.

Urban Agriculture demonstrations at the Mahim Nature Park by Urban Leaves

Farmers Market every Sunday in Mumbai by Kavita Mukhi

Seed Satyagraha

In the Press[edit]

People's biodiversity festival rejects IPR regime

Biodiversity festival from today

Activists:Directory of biodiversity will lead to plundering of resources

Social activists slam biodiversity meet

‘Seeds cannot be the monopoly of companies’

People’s Biodiversity fete challenges CBD

Conference of protesters

‘Bio-diversity meet a farce