Vandana Shiva on Knowledge, Biodiversity & Sustainable Living

GWEI friend, Dr. Vandana Shiva waxes prolifically on all things that matter to and for life on earth.


Vandana Shiva: Traditional Knowledge, Biodiversity and Sustainable Living

By Bhavani Prakash |
Dr Vandana Shiva needs little introduction as a prominent environmental, social justice and anti-GM activist.  In 2010, she received the Sydney Peace Prize and was named by Guardian UK in March 2011 as one of the top 100 women in the world.

In the following interview, she explains the work done at the organisation she founded in 1987 – Navdanya Biodiversity Conservation Farm and Bija Vidyapeeth, the research and training arm. She reiterates that ecological farming is  pro-peace, pro- biodiversity, pro-culture and pro-livelihood for the poor.  She spoke to us recently during “Grandmother’s University” at Navdanya, Dehradun, India.  
The three day course was intended to celebrate Traditional knowledge, Biodiversity and Sustainable livelihoods in an era of globalisation where these are coming under increasing pressure. Not only is this traditional knowledge disappearing, knowledge as a commons is being appropriated and patented by corporations to be sold for abnormal profit.
The participants of the course interacted with the Garhwali women of the Himalayan hills, who had travelled far to teach us some of their wisdom.
The wisdom of grandmothers is in Dr Shiva’s words, our capacity to love, unconditionally. In our society of competition, of insecurity and fear, that steadiness of love and compassion is brought to the next generation. Just because they are grandmothers, they have a long view. It’s called sustainability in today’s jargon. It’s really a thinking about future generations – not just of me, myself, today.
Dr Shiva answers here questions about the myth of GM, how to feed cities, the shadows of growth and development, and the role of civil society.

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