Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Sydney Peace Prize - 2010: Dr Vindana Shiva

Biodiversity as Green Oil ?
Seed Copyright?
Seed Sovereignty?
what is this?

Sydney Peace Prize
Dr Vindana Shiva

In October last year I posted on Dr Vindana Shiva at Navdanya, Grandmother's University where some of her initiatives were presented - such as a learning centre Bija Vidyapeeth (School of the Seed) on biodiversity conservation at an organic farm in Doon Valley, Uttranchal, north India.

Bija Vidyapeeth is Sanskrit for “Seed Learning Centre” with “bija” meaning literally “seed” as well as “origin” or “source.” The Bija Vidyapeeth seal also says “vasudhaiv kutumbakam” in Sanskrit. This means “one world family.”

Today I am adding this information Give Mother earth a Chance about the lecture given by Vindana Shiva at the Sydney (Australia) Opera House in November 2010 when she was awarded with the Sydney Peace Prize.

Give Mother Earth A Chance

(click on this heading to go to website and see lecture video!)

30 Nov 2010, 11:00
“If commerce starts to undermine life support, then commerce must stop, because life has to carry on.” This is the central premise Dr Vandana Shiva’s passionate address for the 2010 City of Sydney Peace Prize Lecture, in which she lambasts global corporations for waging war against nature in the name of profits.
Shiva argues that when commonly used agricultural herbicides have names like “Round Up”, “Squadron”, “Avenge”, one can see there is war being waged against nature…and the humans are winning at the cost of their own future. To Vandana Shiva, fighting for peace for ‘Mother Earth’ is the broadest peace movement we can engage in.
She calls for a form of ‘Earth Democracy’, that re-imagines the biosphere as a citizen, that has universal rights that need protecting and defending.
Dr Vandana Shiva is speaking at the Sydney Opera House for the City of Sydney Peace Prize.
The Sydney Peace Prize was established by the Sydney Peace Foundation in 1998. Each year a prize is awarded to an organisation or individual who has made significant contributions to global peace. Previous winners include Patrick Dodson, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Mary Robinson, Arundhati Roy, Hans Blix and more.
Dr Vandana Shiva is a physicist, environmental activist, author and eco-feminist. As a physicist she trained at the University of Western Ontario and specialised in Quantum Theory. As an environmental activist she has worked for campaigns that focus on the issues of bio-piracy, genetic engineering, sustainable agriculture, intellectual property rights and biodiversity. She has written many books on environmental issues including “The Violence of Green Revolution”, “Bio-piracy: the Plunder of Nature and Knowledge”, “Water, Wars: Privatization, Pollution and Profit”, “Earth Democracy: Justice, Sustainability and Peace” and her most recent book “Soil Not Oil” released in 2008. In 1991, Shiva established “Navdanya” a food security movement based in over 16 states in India, it aims to empower farmers to protect their economic livelihoods and natural resources, especially native seeds. Shiva has been awarded several awards for her efforts including the Right Livelihood Award and the United Nations Environment Program [UNEP] Global 500 Award in 1993, and most recently the 2010 City of Sydney Peace Prize.
Vandana Shiva has been recognised for her work on the empowerment of women in developing countries, her advocacy of the human rights of small farming communities, and her scientific analysis of environmental sustainability.
Vandana is founder of the Navdanya movement and the Bija Vidyapeeth learning centre in India, recognized as a school of the future.
Sydney Peace Foundation director, Professor Stuart Rees, said Dr Shiva was an inspiring recipient of the award. “Many communities are threatened by the consequences of global warming, yet in Australia the movement to address this issue has gone to sleep,” he said. “Vandana’s presence in Sydney in November should wake them up.”
Other distinguished recipients of Australia’s only international prize for peace have included previous Nobel recipients Professor Muhammad Yunus, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and Aboriginal leader Patrick Dodson.
Mary Kostakidis, chair of the Sydney Peace Foundation, said governments around the world sought Dr Shiva’s counsel on issues of sustainable development. “Vandana Shiva’s work highlights the fundamental connection between human rights and the protection of the environment,” Ms Kostakidis said. “She offers solutions to some of the most critical problems posed by the effects of globalisation and climate change on the poorest and most populous nations.”

On a sombre note read the Observer Newspaper's January 2 , 2011 story from India:

India's hidden climate change catastrophe (click on the heading!)

Over the past decade, as crops have failed year after year, 200,000 farmers have killed themselves
By Alex Renton

Images from a Seed Course at Navdanya

Seed Course

Seed Course

Follow on Twitter
Life will not be a pyramid with the apex sustained by the bottom. But it will be an oceanic circle whose center will be the individual always ready to perish for the village, the latter ready to perish for the circle of villages till at last the whole becomes one life composed of individuals, never aggressive in their arrogance, but ever humble, sharing the majesty of he oceanic circle of which they are integral units. Therefore, the outermost circumference will not wield power to crush the inner circle, but will give strength to all within and will derive its own strength from it.”

Message from the Founder:
Over the past three decades I have tried to be the change I want to see. When I found that dominant science and technology served the interests of powerful, I left academics to found the Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology, a participatory, public interest research organisation. When I found global corporations wanted to patent seeds, crops or life forms, I started Navdanya to protect biodiversity, defend farmers’ rights and promote organic farming.
Navdanya/RFSTE’s journey over the past two decades has taken us into creating markets for farmers and promoting tasty, healthy, high quality food for consumers. We have connected the seed to the kitchen, biodiversity to gastronomy. And now we have joined hands with Slow Food to celebrate the quality and cultural diversity of our food.
The seed has inspired us to spread the message of sustainability through Bija Vidyapeeth, which I started with Satish Kumar as a sister institution of the Schumaker College in the UK.
My journey on the road to ecological sustainability started with the Chipko movement in the 1970s when women in the region of the Himalayas protected forests by hugging trees.
For me, ecology and feminism have been inseparable. And Diverse Women for Diversity is one expression of combining women’s rights and nature’s rights, celebrating our cultural diversity and biological diversity.
The defence of nature’s rights and people’s rights have come together for me in Earth Democracy – the democracy of all life on earth, a living democracy which supports and is supported by living culture and living economies.
I am happy you have visited us on the web. We look forward to your visit to our farm, our cafe, our school. Let us together build an earth family. Let us in our diversity create an earth democracy.


Donna Heart said...

Wonderful! Bravo! What a very worthy recipient. I shall toddle off now and read more about this amazing woman, thanks for sharing this information Sophie.
x Donna

Dom said...

je viens de découvrir les photos et j'ai lu en travers le texte. Je suis intéressée et je reviendrai.. Cette grand-mère là, c'est une Magnifique !
Merci d'en parler. Je découvre.

Anonymous said...

Great to hear from you Donna!
Indeed a hugely worthy recipient.
Tell everyone you know.. i'm sorry that I was so flat out when she was in Sydney that I only caught mention of her being on TV ... without tracking the story!
So glad I found this last night!

Hi Dom,
Merci.... So pleased you have found this post and you enjoyed reading it... spread the word - Her work is indeed magnifique!

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