5 January 2023 – 11am GMT
For over four decades, Vandana Shiva, has vociferously advocated for farmers’ rights, indigenous knowledge, diversity, localisation, and real democracy. She has been at the forefront of seed-saving, food sovereignty, and connecting the dots between the destruction of nature and indiscriminate corporate greed. In her keynote talk, Dr. Shiva will reflect on a life of activism, recounted in her new memoir, Terra Viva. She shares memories of her childhood in post-partition India, and reflects on how she was called to activism by the powerful Chipko movement– whose women were ‘the real custodians of biodiversity-related knowledge.’ She discusses how she later worked alongside some of the world’s most celebrated activists and environmentalists fighting for a more habitable planet and healthier democracies. With the challenges revealed by the COVID crisis, the privatisation of biotechnology, and the commodification of our biological and natural resources, Dr Shiva illuminates a path forward and continues to inspire new generations of activists along the way.
Speaker: Vandana Shiva
Chair: Jyoti Fernandes
‘We can panic or be afraid of their power, or you can see the shallowness of their power, which is built on lies, money and violence. All it takes is a bit of light – you just have to be a little candle.’ @drvandanashiva at #ORFC23 pic.twitter.com/IQTvxn7uvN
— Wicked Leeks (@wickedleeksmag) January 5, 2023
6 January 2023 – 9am GMT
Three legendary activists for farmers’ rights tackle the false hope and real threats of genetic modification, sharing what they have learned and how those lessons can be used in the ongoing fight. The first wave of genetically modified (GMO) crops made false promises to reduce pesticide use and create higher yields and profits for farmers – from cotton farmers in Asia to maize growers in North America. There is very little evidence that this happened and instead the reality is one of increased herbicide use, ecological damage, static or reduced yields, greater farmer insecurity, greater corporate control and industrialisation. North America led the way with false promises but farmers in many countries have paid the price. While opposition within the EU has protected the UK to some extent, Brexit and high tech zeal for gene editing technology are now changing the dynamic for the new wave of modification. The narrative that gene editing (GE) is not GMO and is somehow “akin to nature” is gaining ground even amongst farmers who call themselves “regenerative” and “sustainable”. Pro GE legislation is being pushed in the UK and across the EU on the back of yet more false promises and hype.