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Terra Viva: A memoir by Vandana Shiva

Terra Viva

This memoir by Indian environmental activist Dr Vandana Shiva recounts her advocacy for diversity, indigenous knowledge, localisation, seed saving and food sovereignty.

Publisher’s summary

Vandana Shiva has been described in many ways: the ‘Gandhi of Grain,’ ‘a rock star’ in the battle against GMOs, and ‘the most powerful voice’ for people of the developing world. For over four decades she has vociferously advocated for diversity, indigenous knowledge, localisation, and real democracy; she has been at the forefront of seed saving, food sovereignty, and connecting the dots between the destruction of nature, the polarization of societies, and indiscriminate corporate greed.

In Terra Viva, Dr Shiva shares her most memorable campaigns, alongside some of the world’s most celebrated activists and environmentalists, all working towards a livable planet and healthier democracies. For the very first time, she also recounts the stories of her childhood in post-partition India – the influence of the Himalayan forests she roamed; her parents, who saw no difference in the education of boys and girls at a time when this was not the norm; and the Chipko movement, whose women were ‘the real custodians of biodiversity-related knowledge.’ Throughout, Shiva’s pursuit of a unique intellectual path marrying quantum physics with science, technology, and environmental policy will captivate the reader.

Terra Viva is a celebration of a remarkable life and a clear-eyed assessment of the challenges we face moving forward – including those revealed by the Covid crisis, the privatisation of biotechnology, and the commodification of our biological and natural resources. 



Shiva, V. (2022). Terra Viva: My Life in a Biodiversity of Movements. Chelsea Green Publishing UK, London.

Read more here. See also the TABLE explainer What is food sovereignty?

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