Making Peace with the Earth:
Leading a Global Movement
to Honor Seed and Soil
An Interview with Vandana Shiva, Activist, Author and Founder of the Navdanya
Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology
The miracle of life starts with a seed. Seeds nourish us and bring livelihood to hundreds of millions of farmers around the world. It’s these life-giving seeds, and each person’s right to seed, and the food, hope and independence they provide, that has inspired much of Vandana Shiva’s work.
With a Ph.D. in physics and a background in environmental policy, Dr. Shiva has combined
her scientific knowledge with political activism to give tiny seeds a
big voice. Speaking to everyone from global leaders of the World
Bank and the United Nations to farmers in India and around the
world, Dr. Shiva has worked to expose how genetically modified
(GM) seed and industrial agriculture are leading to economic, so-
cial and environmental degradation. Recently, Dr. Shiva also spoke
outside the White House at Right2Know March, a movement to de-
mand that GM foods are labeled.
The foundation for much of Dr. Shiva’s work began in 1991,
when she started Navdanya, a movement to protect small farmers
and the biodiversity of living resources, especially native seeds. Since
then, Navdanya has trained hundreds of farmers on organic methods and launched seed banks throughout India, conserving more
than 5,000 crop varieties. In 1997, she founded the Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology to study the ecological
and economical value of organic farming. Over the years, Dr. Shiva
has written more than 300 papers in leading scientific and technical
journals as well as 20 books, including one set to come out later this
year called Making Peace With the Earth.
Dr. Shiva’s activism on agricultural and human rights, along with
her efforts to empower women as leaders in agriculture, has led to
her being named one of Forbes’ “Most Influential People” and an
“Environmental Hero” by Time magazine, and has also earned her
accolades such as the Right Livelihood Award, also known as the “Alternative Nobel Prize.”
In between saving seed and the world, Dr. Shiva took some time to talk about her latest publi-
cation on GMOs as well as her upcoming book, and the important role of organic farming in
creating a peaceful existence between the earth and the people who live on it.