For three decades, Vandana Shiva (born 1952) has been promoting nonviolent ways of engaging with nature. Her Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology (RFSTE), set up in 1982, is a pioneer in biodiversity conservation and protection of people's rights from threats to their livelihoods by centralized monoculture systems. Her focus on women's relationship to their natural resources, and her work on sustainability, people's rights, and the ethical implications of genetic engineering has fundamentally changed the practice and paradigms of agriculture and food production in India.
Vandana Shiva wears many hats-physicist, philosopher, ecofeminist, environmental activist, and writer. For over three decades, she has been promoting nonviolent modes of thought and ways of engaging with nature. Vandana was born in Dehradun, the youngest child of parents involved with nature and conservation. Aspiring to be a scientist, she obtained her doctorate on quantum theory. But her primary area of work has centered on women's defense of nature, and on claiming their right to natural resources. In the 1970s, Vandana participated in the Chipko movement-a tree-hugging opposition to commercial logging, mostly by village women. It also sowed the seeds for her continuing work on the connection between environmental concerns and the rights of indigenous people to their resources. In 1982, Vandana founded RFSTE in Dehradun, which works on biodiversity conservation and protecting people's rights from threats to their livelihoods and environment by centralized systems of monoculture in forestry, agriculture, and fisheries. In 1987, she set up Navadanya, which works to save native seeds, promote chemical-free agriculture, create awareness on the hazards of genetic engineering, and fight biopiracy. She is also a pioneer of the ecofeminist movement in India, stressing the interconnection between nature and women's oppression. Furthermore, Vandana has contributed in fundamental ways to changing the practice and paradigms of agriculture and food. Her books "The Violence of Green Revolution" and "Monocultures of the Mind" have become basic challenges to nonsustainable, reductionist green revolution agriculture. For more than 15 years, she has campaigned on the ethical and ecological impacts of the genetic engineering that propels the second green revolution.
Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology (RFSTE)