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 position 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. 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 being foisted on the South. This 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, homogeneous systems of cultivation.