Biodiversity: Social & Ecological Perspectives

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Zed Books, 1991 - Business & Economics - 123 pages
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Conservation of Biodiversity is gaining centre stage for the environmental movement as (tropical) forests are fast disappearing, complex agriculture systems are transformed into monocultures, and about 25% of the world's flora and fauna species may be lost over the next generation.A recent study by the World Resources Institute (WRI), the World Bank, the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN), and the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF) entitled Conserving the World's Biological Diversity illustrates the flaws in many of the analyses and proposed action plans in this area of growing concern.This book by the World Rainforest Movement is a collection of essays which challenges that analysis. The contributors to this volume - all with research and campaigning experience in this field - argue that the roots of the crisis of genetic erosion lie in the industrial system of the North. This book also refutes the notion that biodiversity conservation can only be achieved if commercial interests are used to "value" genetic resources.The authors argue that Third World peasants and forest dwellers have been the guardians and beneficiaries of the world's biodiversity. They warn of emerging biotechnologies which will erode biodiversity by increasing uniformity in production, and imposing intellectual property rights to turn life forms into private property.This provocative book also provides a critique of the global biodiversity convention which is being negotiated under the auspices of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
 

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Contents

Voices Unheard and Unheeded
13
Biodiversity Biotechnology and Profits
43
The Impact of Biodiversity Conservation
59
Who Defends Biological Diversity?
77
Genes for Sustainable Development
105
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About the author (1991)

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)

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