Lifetime Service Award
Bio-piracy activist, food-sustainability advocate and changemaker
Photo Courtesy: Vandana Shiva
She’s articulate, erudite and no stranger to accolades. She’s an environmentalist, social worker, scholar, author and feminist. And she’s indisputably one of India’s most powerful voices for eco-feminism and for the long overdue agri-environmental revolution. Back in 1982, Shiva established the Research Foundation for Science Technology and Ecology to develop sustainable agriculture practices to reverse the ill-effects of the Green Revolution. Though widely lauded, the Green Revolution led to an over-dependence on fertilisers and pesticides, the wide use of hybrid seed strains, and the neglect of indigenous seed varieties. Shiva delved into the politics and economics of agriculture, rallied against the patenting of seeds, took on the might of GMO goliaths, and went on to found Navdanya in 1991. Through Navdanya, she works with farmers across the country to conserve the diversity of native seeds and promote organic farming practices. Today, this national movement has witnessed the creation of 60 seed banks in 16 states. Shiva’s accomplishments don’t end here. A renowned scholar, she has served on national and international boards and committees including the National Board for Organic Standards in India, Prince Charles’ expert group on Sustainable Agriculture, the International Forum on Globalisation and the Commission on the Future of Food, amongst a slew of others. A long-time critic of the economic and ecological costs of corporate-led globalisation, Shiva has lent her formidable persona and intelligence to grassroots movements across the world, is a celebrated public speaker and the author of over 20 books. Vandana Shiva asks uncomfortable questions to the elite and powerful, challenges the status quo, and fights the forgotten injustices that plague India’s rural heart. She is the warrior-nurturer who will not be silenced.
First published in: Sanctuary Asia, Vol. XXXVIII No. 12, December 2018