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Vandana Shiva on Earth Democracy

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the Gaia foundation EARTH DEMOCRACY - Vandana Shiva I got involved in the ecology movement in the early seventies - thirty years ago - as a result of the emergency of what came to be known as Chipko Movement, as the women of the Himalayas came out to hug the trees, these trees are our life, they protect our soil, they prevent the landslides, they ensure water, they give us fuel and you're not going to log them. And that movement became the first contemporary ecology movement based on direct action. But also a movement,which redefined the role of nature. Development was redefining the role of nature as a supplier of raw material: timber, whatever, minerals... And Chipko redefined it as the sustenance support to look at communities for a sustainable economy. It was still economic, but it was a different economy. And... ever since Chipko I've doing this work. At 30 years I left university in '82 to start the Institute called the Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology and... in '87 I started in Navdanya the movement for seed saving and two years ago we started Bija Vidyapeeth, for education for being citizen of the Earth. And in this period we were dominated by corporate globalization, its next stage of militaristic governance of the world, and its side effect of the rise of religious fundamentalism. And ethnic cleansing and xenophobia on a worse scale - it's not restricted to one society now, it can happen anywhere... These 3 phenomena, are really calling on us to think in a different way about our place on the Earth, the relationship of different cultures, as well as how we should govern ourselves. And for me, the idea of Earth Democracy in a way responds to all 3 crises at the same time. It re-embeds humans in the earth community and therefore the Earth Democracy is not just a democracy of humans, it's a democracy of all life, all plants, all microbes, things we see, things we can't see as we say, things that have four legs, things that have no legs, things that have two legs, aaah... A democracy of ALL life. Secondly, it's not about democracy in terms of once in five years going out and putting a ballot... it's not something you can leave to a once in a five year process. It's something about EVERY DAY living. So, it's ALL of life and a spatial expansion, but it's about EVERY day life and therefore a temporal expansion, it's about every day matters of life and day. And the third reason Earth Democracy responds to the crisis to the crisis of our times and gives a positive way of relating to the Earth and other cultures, is because by relocating our identity in the Earth, we prevent the creation of negative identities, which are in conflict with each other. And that's the root to fundamentalism. It's really negative economies feeding negative identities. And we need positive identities and the real positive identity of who we are is in terms of the places where we live, the geographies that shape us, the cultures that have being shaped by those geographies. Well, I think the most important... strengthening that comes out of linking like this is like any in ecosystem. Diverse species support each other. Interactions between diverse species create more stable ecosystems and that's what this is really about. But I think, there's another value over an about what...? The groups bring for each other in terms of support. And that has to do with the fact, the world REALLY needs a non local response, that is not corporate driven, that is not market driven. That's not about making more money at the cost of other people and nature, but it's about sustaining life on Earth and somehow to do it, not just in context of a lock of communities who have done it for ever, but to also now do it as a world community. THE GAIA FOUNDATION

Video Details

Duration: 4 minutes and 56 seconds
Country: India
Language: English
Producer: The Gaia Foundation
Director: The Gaia Foundation
Views: 61
Posted by: tinaki on May 2, 2010

Short interview with Vandana Shiva, Gaia Associate, on Earth Democracy, local communities and the role of Nature. Vandana is founder of the Navdanya movement, working on seed, food and water sovereignty in India, and the Bija Vidyapeeth learning centre for sustainable living.

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