The Indian physicist Vandana Shiva (born 1952) has long been a recognized leader in environmental sustainability, biodiversity, and the empowerment of women and has written many books and articles on these issues. Her many activities include founding Navdanya (nine seeds), which promotes biodiversity and a return to traditional sustainable methods of farming. Its mission statement begins by emphasizing its goal “to promote peace and harmony, justice and sustainability.” Shiva co-founded Bija Vidyapeeth (the school of the seed) in 2002, whose goals, like those of its sister college, Schumacher College in the UK, include spreading the message of sustainability and educating for earth citizenship. Shiva acknowledges her debt to Gandhi. She observes, for example: “As Gandhi has reminded us: ‘The earth has enough for everyone’s needs, but not for some people’s greed.’” The many prizes and honors she has received, which include The Right Livelihood Award (seen as the Alternative Nobel Prize) and the UNEP Global 500 Award, both in 1993, recognize her leadership role in efforts to preserve the environment, to place women and ecology at the heart of thinking about development and sustainability, and for setting an example for the rest of the world. Through researching Shiva’s writings and actions, this paper will analyze the ideas and contributions of this remarkable woman and discuss her work as a model for other countries.
|Keywords:||Biodiversity, Economic Sustainability, Environmental Sustainability, Women’s Empowerment|
Professor of German, Rosenthal Professor of Humanities, German Department, Grinnell College, Grinnell, Iowa, USA
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