, Vandana Shiva in 2007.
Vandana Shiva, (1952-11-05) 5 November 1952 (age 61), Dehra Dun, Uttar Pradesh (present-day Uttarakhand), India
University of Guelph, University of Western Ontario
Philosopher, environmentalist, author
Right Livelihood Award (1993), Sydney Peace Prize (2010), Fukuoka Asian Culture Prize (2012)
Vandana Shiva (Hindi: वंदना शिवा: born 5 November 1952) is an Indian environmental activist and anti-globalization author. Shiva, currently based in Delhi, has authored more than 20 books. She was trained as a physicist and received her Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in physics from the University of Western Ontario, Canada, in 1978 with the doctoral dissertation "Hidden variables and locality in quantum theory."
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. 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. She is also a member of the International Organization for a Participatory Society. She received the Right Livelihood Award in 1993, and numerous other prizes.
1 Early life and education,
3 Against genetic engineering,
9 See also,
11 External links,
Early life and education:
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. After receiving her bachelors degree in physics, 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". In 1978, she completed and received her PhD in Physics at the University of Western Ontario. Her thesis, titled "Hidden variables and locality in quantum theory," was about the philosophical underpinnings of quantum mechanics. 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.
Dr. 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 intellectually 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 1982, 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 34 seed banks in 13 states across the country. More than 70,000 farmers are primary members of Navdanya. In 2004 Dr Shiva started Bija Vidyapeeth, an international college for sustainable living in Doon Valley, in collaboration with Schumacher College, U.K.
In the area of IPRs (Intellectual Property Rights) and Biodiversity, Dr. Shiva and her team at the Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology successfully challenged the bio piracy of Neem, Basmati and Wheat. Besides her activism, she has also served on expert groups of government on Biodiversity and IPR legislation.
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. Dr. 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. Dr Shiva serves on Government of India Committees on Organic Farming. Vandana Shiva participated in the Stock Exchange of Visions project in 2007.
Time Magazine identified Dr. 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.
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).
Against genetic engineering:
Shiva does not only oppose genetic engineering but also scorns the technological Green revolution, which according to many estimates saved more than a billion lives.
Shiva defended the arsonist of Michigan state university premises used for biotechnology and said that "it is criminal" to treat the arsonist as a criminal.
The famous environmental activist Mark Lynas admitted in his book The God Species that he had been wrong and anti-scientific in opposing genetic engineering, as facts support GM. Vandana Shiva criticized Lynas: because GM plants can spread into surrounding fields, Lynas' position is "like saying rapists should have freedom to rape". A follower criticized the comparison of GMOs to rape, but Shiva answered that also plants have right to integrity and we need to abandon "anthropocentric worldview" in favor of "Earth Democracy". The follower wrote that also Mother Earth violates the integrity by moving genes from wild species to others. Mark Lynas wrote that Shiva's comparison to rapists was offending and Shiva is "a reactionary fraud & an enemy of the poor."
Mark Lynas has become an advocate of GMO labeling: "I'm not here to tell them what they want to hear," Lynas told WBEZ after his speech at the Food Integrity Summit in Rosemont. "I'm here to challenge them and provoke them, which is why I told them today that they have to stop opposing GMO labeling. I believe people do have the right to know what's in their food, and they as an industry have a responsibility and a mandate to deliver on that. 2
"Vandana Shiva would rather have her people in India starve than eat bioengineered food", said C.S. Prakash, professor of plant molecular genetics at Tuskegee University in Alabama when CARE and Catholic Relief Society had brought high-nutrition corn-soy mix to millions of Indians whose homes had been destroyed by a cyclone and Shiva insisted India to withdraw it. Millions of Americans have eaten GM food for years without any harm to health.
Shiva also opposes Golden Rice, which, according to some, could prevent millions of children from becoming blind every year and alleviate vitamin A deficiency of 250 million people in the developing countries. Shiva said that the women of Bengal grow and eat 150 greens which can do the same. Martina McGloughlin, director of the biotechnology program at the University of California at Davis angrily compared this to Marie Antoinette, who said that the peasants should eat cake if they don't have bread. Nutritionists at UNICEF doubted if it was even physically possible to obtain enough vitamin A from those greens. Doctor Patrick Moore writes that most of these 250 million children don't eat much else than a bowl of rice a day. 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.
But here is her scientific 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.
The problem is that vitamin A rice will not remove vitamin A deficiency (VAD). It will seriously aggravate it. It is a technology that fails in its promise. Currently, it is not even known how much vitamin JA the genetically engineered rice will produce. The goal is 33.3% micrograms/100g of rice. Even if this goal is reached after a few years, it will be totally ineffective in removing VAD.
Since the daily average requirement of vitamin A is 750 micrograms of vitamin A and 1 serving contains 30g of rice according to dry weight basis, vitamin A rice would only provide 9.9 micrograms which is 1.32% of the required allowance. Even taking the 100g figure of daily consumption of rice used in the technology transfer paper would only provide 4.4% of the RDA.
In order to meet the full needs of 750 micrograms of vitamin A from rice, an adult would have to consume 2 kg 272g of rice per day. This implies that one family member would consume the entire family ration of 10 kg from the PDS in 4 days to meet vitamin A needs through "Golden rice".
This is a recipe for creating hunger and malnutrition, not solving it."
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?"
While Shiva called GM seeds "seeds of slavery", Indian farmers desperately stole those seeds (Bt cotton). Seven years later they already used it on 2,5 million hectares. Bt cotton allows them to avoid the dangers and costs of using pesticides.
However, Bt cotton also created a a wave of despair among Indian farmers: "Soaring seed prices in India have resulted in many farmers being mired in debt and turning to suicide". Reuters 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." Originally published by Al Jazeera March 30, 2013. Read the entire article here:
Shiva claims that GM technology is untested, unproven and unsafe, which is being proven in more and more studies. Thierry Vrain, former Pro-GMO Scientist speaks out on the real dangers of Genetically Engineered Food. Here's what he writes: "I retired 10 years ago after a long career as a research scientist for Agriculture Canada. When I was on the payroll, I was the designated scientist of my institute to address public groups and reassure them that genetically engineered crops and foods were safe. There is, however, a growing body of scientific research - done mostly in Europe, Russia, and other countries - showing that diets containing engineered corn or soya cause serious health problems in laboratory mice and rats.
I don't know if I was passionate about it but I was knowledgeable. I defended the side of technological advance, of science and progress. In the last 10 years I have changed my position. I started paying attention to the flow of published studies coming from Europe, some from prestigious labs and published in prestigious scientific journals, that questioned the impact and safety of engineered food. (...)Genetic engineering is 40 years old. It is based on the naive understanding of the genome based on the One Gene - one protein hypothesis of 70 years ago, that each gene codes for a single protein. The Human Genome project completed in 2002 showed that this hypothesis is wrong. The whole paradigm of the genetic engineering technology is based on a misunderstanding. Every scientist now learns that any gene can give more than one protein and that inserting a gene anywhere in a plant eventually creates rogue proteins. Some of these proteins are obviously allergenic or toxic."
Vandana Shiva plays a major role in the global Ecofeminist movement. According to her article Empowering Women, 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.
Some of the viewpoints held by Vandana Shiva have been criticised as being essentialist by C. Jackson.
Science journalist Ronald Bailey, who was awarded the price for the best science book in 2004, wrote that Vandana Shiva is a "luddite": if something is new, she opposes it.
Liberty Institute of Delhi awarded Shiva "Bullshit Award for Sustaining Poverty" in 2002 in Johannesburg.
Dr. Vandana Shiva has been interviewed for a number of documentary films including Roshni: Ray of Light; One Water,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).
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;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.
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.
In 2010, Vandana was interviewed in a documentary about honeybees and colony collapse disorder, entitled "Queen of the Sun."
In 2012, Dr. Vandana Shiva was interviewed in the documentary film Roshni: Ray of Light. 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.
In 1993, Vandana received the Right Livelihood Award "...For placing women and ecology at the heart of modern development discourse."
Additional awards include:
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,
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, one of the comparatively very few 'grass-root' foundations for her work "with a vision and perspective far beyond the next generation.",
2008: The LennonOno Grant for Peace,
2009: The Save The World Award,
2010: The Sydney Peace Prize,
2011: The Calgary Peace Prize from the Consortium for Peace Studies at the University of Calgary,
2011: The Doshi Family Bridgebuilder Award, for cultivating mutual understanding between cultures,
2011: The Thomas Merton Award,
2012: The EarthE Award,
2013: Honoris causa Laurea (Master of Science degree) in Nutrition Science from the University of Calabria, Italy,
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
About Vandana Shiva
Resources in your library,
Resources in other libraries,
By Vandana Shiva
Resources in your library,
Resources in other libraries,
1981, Social Economic and Ecological Impact of Social Forestry in Kolar, Vandana Shiva, H.C. Sharatchandra, J. Banyopadhyay, Indian Institute of Management Bangalore,
1986, Chipko: India's Civilisational Response to the Forest Crisis, J. Bandopadhyay and Vandana Shiva, Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage. Pub. by INTACH,
1987, The Chipko Movement Against Limestone Quarrying in Doon Valley, J. Bandopadhyay and Vandana Shiva, Lokayan Bulletin, 5 : 3, 1987, pp. 19-25 online,
1988, Staying Alive: Women, Ecology and Survival in India, Zed Press, New Delhi, ISBN 0-86232-823-3,
1991, Ecology and the Politics of Survival: Conflicts Over Natural Resources in India, Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks, California, ISBN 0-8039-9672-1,
1992, The Violence of the Green Revolution: Ecological degradation and political conflict in Punjab, Zed Press, New Delhi,
1992, Biodiversity: Social and Ecological Perspectives (editor); Zed Press, United Kingdom,
1993, Women, Ecology and Health: Rebuilding Connections (editor), Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation and Kali for Women, New Delhi,
1993, Monocultures of the Mind: Biodiversity, Biotechnology and Agriculture, Zed Press, New Delhi,
1993, Ecofeminism, Maria Mies and Vandana Shiva, Fernwood Publications, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, ISBN 1-895686-28-8,
1994, Close to Home: Women Reconnect Ecology, Health and Development Worldwide, Earthscan, London, ISBN 0-86571-264-6,
1995, Biopolitics (with Ingunn Moser), Zed Books, United Kingdom,
1997, Biopiracy: the Plunder of Nature and Knowledge, South End Press, Cambridge Massachusetts, I ISBN 1-896357-11-3,
2000, Stolen Harvest: The Hijacking of the Global Food Supply, South End Press, Cambridge Massachusetts, ISBN 0-89608-608-9,
2000, Tomorrow's Biodiversity, Thames and Hudson, London, ISBN 0-500-28239-0,
2001, Patents, Myths and Reality, Penguin India,
2002, Water Wars; Privatization, Pollution, and Profit, South End Press, Cambridge Massachusetts,
2005, India Divided, Seven Stories Press,
2005, Globalization's New Wars: Seed, Water and Life Forms Women Unlimited, New Delhi, ISBN 81-88965-17-0,
2005, Earth Democracy; Justice, Sustainability, and Peace, South End Press, ISBN 0-89608-745-X,
2007, Manifestos on the Future of Food and Seed, editor, South End Press ISBN 978-0-89608-777-4,
2007, Democratizing Biology: Reinventing Biology from a Feminist, Ecological and Third World Perspective, author, Paradigm Publishers ISBN 978-1-59451-204-9,
2008, Soil Not Oil, South End Press ISBN 978-0-89608-782-8,
2010, Staying Alive, South End Press ISBN 978-0-89608-793-4,
2013, Making Peace With The Earth Pluto Press ISBN 978-0-7453-33762