“Ecology is permanent economy”— Sunderlal Bahuguna, environmental activist and active crusader in the Chipko Movement
Dr. Vandana Shiva founded the Research for Science, Technology, and Ecology (RFSTE) organization, inspired by her earlier involvement with the Chipko movement. In 1973, in a mountainous region in the Himalayas, women villagers, in heroic and desperate fashion, clung to the body of trees to protest against their forest being decimated by contractors for the State’s Forest Department. The entire ecology of the region, and thus the local economy of these villagers, depended upon preserving the integrity of their forest. The eventual success of this self-organized environmental movement to protect their own natural resources from exploitation, became a (non-violent) model for future environmental activism throughout the world.
In this final installment, Dr. Vandana Shiva takes us back to the role of organic farming, and to the organic farmer who she believes embodies the best scientists of our time. For Dr. Shiva, as a scientist herself, and a longtime environmental activist, it’s understanding nature and working within its laws that produces peace, prosperity, and a sustainable future. The seed of an organism is the embodiment of life itself; of hope and of survival. The notion that a seed can be owned by a corporation (through a patent), is a power too great to bestow upon any private or public entity. As a culmination of what Dr. Shiva has discussed in her other interviews, she is hopeful that it is not too late for people to stand up to the large corporations that drive our global food system, and to make personal choices that promote local and more sustainable food production.