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Monocultures of the Mind

Biodiversity, Biotechnology and Scientific Agriculture

By Vandana Shiva

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Format: Paperback / softback, 188 pages
Other Information: notes, index
Published In: United Kingdom, 01 January 1998
Vandana Shiva has established herself as a leading independent thinker and voice for the South in that critically important nexus where questions of development strategy, the environment and the posititon of women in society coincide. In this new volume, she brings together her thinking on the protection of biodiversity, the implications of biotechnology, and the consequences for agriculture of the global pre-eminence of Western-style scientific knowledge. In lucid and accessible fashion, she examines the current threats to the planet's biodiversity and the environmental and human consequences of its erosion and replacement by monocultural production. She shows how the new Biodiversity Convention has been gravely undermined by a mixture of diplomatic dilution during the process of negotiation and Northern hi-tech interests making money out of the new biotechnologies. She explains what these technologies involve and gives examples of their impact in practice. She questions their claims to improving natural species for the good of all and highlights the ethical and environmental problems posed. Underlying her arguments is the view that the North's particular approach to scientific understanding has led to a system of monoculture in agriculture - a model that is not being foisted on the South, displacing its societies' ecologically sounder, indigenous and age-old experiences of truly sustainable food cultivation, forest management and animal husbandry. This rapidly accelerating process of technology and system transfer is impoverishing huge numbers of people, disrupting the social systems that provide them with security and dignity, and will ultimately result in a sterile planet in both North and South, In a policy intervention of potentially great significance, she calls instead for a halt, at international as well as local level, to the aid and market incentives to both large-scale destruction of habitats where biodiversity thrives and the introduction of centralised, homogenous systems of cultivation.

Table of Contents

* Introduction * Chapter 1 - Monocultures of the Mind * Chapter 2 - Biodiversity: A Third World Perspective * Chapter 3 - Biotechnology and the Environment * Chapter 4 - The Seed and the Spinning Wheel: Technology Development and Biodiversity Conservation * Chapter 5 - The Biodiversity Convention: An Evaluation from the Third World Perspective

About the Author

Vandana Shiva is a world-renowned environmental thinker and campaigner. A former physicist, feminist and philosopher, she is prominent in citizens' actions against environmental destruction, and critical of the latest agricultural and genetic engineering technologies and the giant corporations which control them. A leader in the International Forum on Globalization along with Ralph Nader and Jeremy Rifkin, Vandana Shiva won the Alternative Nobel Peace Prize (the Right Livelihood Award) in 1993, and the Earth Day Award. In India she is Director of the Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology. She is also the founder of Bija Vidyapeeth which offers conference and seminar facilities in an ambiance which reinvigorates our vital link with Nature at the Navdanya Biodiversity Conservation and Agroecology Farm in the foothills of the Himalayas. Her numerous influential books include: Staying Alive: Women, Ecology and Development (Zed Books and Kali for Women, 1989) The Violence of the Green Revolution (Zed Books and Third World Network, 1991) Monocultures of the Mind (Zed Books and Third World Network, 1993) Biopiracy: The Plunder of Nature and Knowledge (South End Press, 1997) Stolen Harvest: The Highjacking of the Global Food Supply (South End Press and Zed Books, 2000) Protect or Plunder? Understanding Intellectual Property Rights (Penguin Books India and Zed Books, 2001)

EAN: 9781856492188
ISBN: 1856492184
Publisher: Zed Books Ltd
Dimensions: 20.75 x 14.53 x 0.99 centimetres (0.19 kg)
Age Range: 15+ years
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