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Reclaiming the Commons: Biodiversity, Indigenous Wisdom, and the Rights of Mother Earth

By Vandana Shiva

Foreword by Ronnie Cummins

Look Inside

Authored by world-renowned activist and environmental leader Vandana Shiva, Reclaiming the Commons presents the history of the struggle to defend biodiversity and traditional practices against corporate biopiracy and details efforts to realize legal rights for Mother Earth and achieve the vision of the universal commons and Earth as Family.

“A powerful, deeply moving call to rethink the very way we understand life, including our own. We will protect and, ultimately—save—life on this planet only as we experience ourselves in relation to all—only as we move from the manufactured fear of scarcity to fall in love with the majesty our connectedness. Reclaiming the Commons is about reclaiming ourselves. I love this book.” — Frances Moore Lappe, author of Diet for a Small Planet

Vandana Shiva

Dr. Vandana Shiva is an author, physicist, ecologist, and advocate of biodiversity conservation and farmer’s rights. Her pioneering work around food sovereignty, traditional agriculture, and women’s rights created fundamental cultural shifts in how the world views these issues. 

Along with Jerry Mander, Edward Goldsmith, Ralph Nader, and Jeremy Rifkin, Dr. Shiva is a leader and board member of the International Forum on Globalization and a prominent figure of the global solidarity movement known as the alter-globalization movement. 

Dr. Shiva founded Navdanya, an organization that promotes agroecology, seed freedom, and a vision of Earth Democracy, seeking justice for the Earth and all living beings. She has authored more than 20 books including Reclaiming the Commons: Biodiversity, Indigenous Knowledge, and the Rights of Mother Earth (Synergetic Press, 2020), Philanthrocapitalism & The Erosion of Democracy: A Global Citizens’ Report on the Corporate Control of Technology, Health, and Agriculture (Synergetic Press, 2022) and Agroecology and Regenerative Agriculture: Sustainable Solutions for Hunger, Poverty, and Climate Change (Synergetic Press, 2022). 

Dr. Shiva is a member of the scientific committee of the Fundacion IDEAS, Spain’s Socialist Party’s think tank and the International Organization for a Participatory Society. She received the Right Livelihood Award in 1993, an honor known as an “Alternative Nobel Prize”. She has received numerous other awards and honors for her work including the “Save the World” award in 2009 and the Sydney Peace Prize in 2010. Dr. Shiva’s life and work is the subject of the award-winning 2021 documentary, “Seeds of Vandana Shiva.”

Description

Reclaiming the Commons: In Defense of Biodiversity, Traditional Knowledge and the Rights of Mother Earth lays out the scientific, legal, political, and cultural struggle to defend the sovereignty of biodiversity and indigenous knowledge. Corporate war on nature and people through patents and corporate Intellectual Property Rights has unleashed an epidemic of biopiracy resulting in important legal battles fighting efforts to patent the rights to many plants, including basmati, neem, and wheat. The author presents details of the specific attempts made by corporations to secure these patents and the legal actions taken to fight them. The book goes beyond the legal struggle to position the necessary solutions to corporate control including the exploring the Rights of Nature and proposing a framework for a Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth. It is the first detailed legal history of the international and national laws related to biodiversity and Intellectual Property Rights.

Additional information

Weight 1.125 lbs
Dimensions 9 × 6 × 2 in
Format

Paperback, eBook

Pages 320

Endorsements

As she has, nonstop for 30 years, Vandana Shiva has done it again. Reclaiming the Commons is a magnificent, profound, timely and politically vital book; a vital aid to a magnificent local resistance movement in India. At a crucial moment in history, as a handful of gigantic global corporations are aggressively seeking ultimate control over global agricultural resources and products, Shiva steps forward and leads the movement to block their incursions. As she has done so many times before, she clearly articulates, creates and sustains a vital, powerful resistance movement, both globally, and notably in her native India, where global corporatists’ powers seek full take-over. Shiva brilliantly articulates what is at stake in the battle between “two paradigms”, that of an age-old system based on local community rights, and the outrageous over-reach of global corporations seeking invasion and control of local systems, notably food and agriculture. This is a profound and disturbing book, brilliantly articulated in exquisite detail by the one most powerful local forces on these matters. It is a vital and illuminating work; timely, powerful, and profound. — Jerry Mander, author of Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television and The Capitalism Papers

A powerful, deeply moving call to rethink the very way we understand life, including our own. We will protect and, ultimately―save―life on this planet only as we experience ourselves in relation to all―only as we move from the manufactured fear of scarcity to fall in love with the majesty our connectedness. Reclaiming the Commons is about reclaiming ourselves. I love this book. — Frances Moore Lappe, author of Diet for a Small Planet

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