Dr. Vandana Shiva was born in Dehradun, India in 1952. She is a scientist and social activist, and has received many awards for her involvement with environmental protection, women‘s rights and sustainability.
In 1993 she was awarded the Right-Livelihood-Award - more commonly known as the ‚Alternative Nobel Prize‘ - for placing women and ecology at the heart of modern development discourse.
„I call him ‚my friend who is the peasant Prince‘, because I think he thrives most on the land. His heart and soul is totally with the Earth.“
„His nails will always have a little dirt underneath. He is not a manicured Prince. He‘s a ‚dirty Prince‘ in the sense of dirt and soil being part of both his physical being as well as his soul. I think it has been very carefully developed that Prince Charles should be made to look like he is some kind of a ‚loony‘ on the fringe. Only because his ideas are so sane in an insane world.“
Dr. Vandana Shiva - Background
The charismatic Vandana Shiva was born on November 5th 1952 in Dehradun, India, at the foot of the Himalayan Mountains. She completed her Physics degree at the University of Western Ontario in Canada and then returned to India. In the 1970s she put her expertise to good use within the first Indian environmental association.
Vandana Shiva stands up for many locals who are not experienced in dealing with international businesses and governmental agencies, putting them at risk of paternalism. Furthermore, she emphasizes the importance of women from an ecological perspective, especially when it comes to the fight for biodiversity and against “bio-patents”. Shiva criticizes that the industrial revolution reduced women and nature to their role as suppliers of human and natural resources. In her mother’s former cow shed, she founded the independent institute “The Research Foundation for Science Technology and Ecology” in Dehradun in 1982, which she still runs today. Her studies on ecology and sociology derive from a close collaboration with the public and social organizations, demonstrating independence and professionalism. Besides her social involvement, she also acts as an adviser to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and is a board member of “The World Future Council”.
Vandana Shiva is an advocate for the pursuit of autonomous development paths, and has managed to increase her sphere of influence immensely. Starting as a grassroots initiative, she is now heard by international industry and trade circles. Today, she is one of the most important activists for biodiversity and organic agriculture worldwide. As a globalization critic, she plays a central part in the fight against genetic engineering. She believes that life, in its entire diversity and differentness must be protected. That is why she founded “Navdanya” in 1991, a national movement dedicated to preserving biodiversity and pluralistic life forms. She has been fighting multinational corporations over biopiracy with great success, and supports international campaigns against genetically modified foods. In 1993 she was awarded the Alternative Nobel Prize for her work. Despite her numerous awards and successes, she never loses sight of her goals and tirelessly continues to pursue their fulfilment. In all her work she strives for harmony between all organisms and nature, which involves respecting one another and maintaining ones sovereignty. Vandana Shiva questions the legitimacy of international commercial agreements and reminds of the universal validity of natural law. Opposed to the centralized power of corporations, she calls for decentralized structures, based on peaceful coexistence and built upon values of compassion, mutual support and sharing.