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Monocultures of the Mind : Perspectives on Biodiversity and Biotechnology - Vandana Shiva

Monocultures of the Mind

Perspectives on Biodiversity and Biotechnology

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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.

Industry Reviews

'One of the world's most prominent radical scientists' The Guardian

'Shiva has devoted her life to fighting for the rights of ordinary people in India. Her fierce intellect and her disarmingly friendly, accessible manner have made her a valuable advocate for people all over the developing world.' Ms Magazine

'The South's best known environmentalist.' New Internationalist

'Shiva is a burst of creative energy, an intellectual power.' The Progressive

Introductionp. 5
Monocultures of the Mindp. 9
The 'Disappeared' Knowledge Systemsp. 9
The Cracks of Fragementationp. 12
The Destruction of Diversity as 'Weeds'p. 22
'Miracle' Trees and 'Miracle' Seedsp. 27
The Green Revolution and 'Miracle' Seedsp. 39
The Non-Sustainability of Monoculturesp. 50
Democratising Knowledgep. 59
Biodiversity: A Third World Perspectivep. 65
'The Crisis of Diversity'p. 65
Primary Threats to Biodiversityp. 68
Effects of Biodiversity Erosionp. 73
First World Bio-imperialism and North-South Conflictsp. 78
Limitations of the Dominant Approaches to Biodiversity Conservationp. 82
From Bio-imperialism to Bio-democracyp. 88
Biotechnology and the Environmentp. 95
Introductionp. 95
Biotechnology and Biohazardsp. 96
Biotechnology and Chemical hazardsp. 108
Biotechnology and Biodiversityp. 114
Biotechnology Substitutes and Economic Displacement in the Third Worldp. 118
Biotechnology, Privatisation and Concentrationp. 119
Biotechnology, Patents and Private Property in Life Formsp. 120
Appendices to Chapter 3p. 128
The Seed and the Spinning Wheel: Technology Development and Biodiversity Conservationp. 133
Introductionp. 133
Technology Development and Sustainabilityp. 134
Diversity and Productivityp. 137
Conservation of the Seed and the Spinning Wheelp. 141
Conclusionp. 146
The Biodiversity Convention: An Evaluation from the Third World Perspectivep. 151
Appendix to Chapter 5 (Convention on Biological Diversity, 5 June 1992)p. 161
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9781856492188
ISBN-10: 1856492184
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 184
Published: 1st February 1993
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 20.96 x 15.24  x 1.27
Weight (kg): 0.25
Edition Number: 1