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When natural resources like timber, water and mineral deposits can be extracted from ecosystems, they become assets with dollar values that can be bought and sold internationally and enable developing countries to grow and participate in the global economy. If growth is the key to emerging from poverty, then this might seem like a good thing. But what if these same resources being sold to richer nations come from an ecosystem that people depend on for their livelihood? What if new growth is actually proportional to the creation of new poverty?
The cult of 'growth' has dictated policy for decades. But if well-being, not growth, is our goal, selling resources that bring long term wellbeing to communities for short term gain is a very bad deal. Hard as it may be for the West to understand, protecting the ecological resources of communities might be more important than GDP figures.
Vandana Shiva holds a PhD in physics, but is best known as an environmental, and anti-globalisation activist and as a leading figure of 'ecofeminism.' Shiva is based in India and is the author of over twenty books, including Staying Alive and Biopiracy. She is a former recipient of the Sydney Peace Prize.
Chair: Simran Sethi is an award-winning Indian American journalist. She is currently undergoing a research fellowship at the University of Melbourne in Australia on the loss of agricultural biodiversity in our food system.
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From the documentary Money & Life: www.moneyandlifemovie.com
Vandana Shiva is a physicist, ecologist, and activist, she won the Right Livelihood Award in 1993. She directs the Research Foundation for Science, Technology, and Natural Resource Policy in New Delhi, India, and is an Associate Editor of The Ecologist magazine. Before becoming an activist, Shiva was one of India's leading physicists.
Her work highlights the fundamental connection between human rights and the environment. She founded Navdanya, a organizational network of seed keepers and organic producers spread across 16 states in India. She is the author of many books, including Earth Democracy.
Vandana Shiva (Hindi: वन्दना शिवा; b. November 5, 1952, Dehra Dun, Uttarakhand, India), is a philosopher, environmental activist, and eco feminist. Shiva, currently based in Delhi, has authored more than 20 books and over 500 papers in leading scientific and technical journals. She was trained as a physicist and received her Ph.D. 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 was awarded the Right Livelihood Award in 1993.