It has been declared ‘the International Year of the Soil,’ but the year ahead, according to Dr. Vandana Shiva, will also see key developments in the global fight to overthrow corporate power with true democracy.
Last year, the United Nation’s Food and Agricultural Organization officially declared that 2015 would be celebrated as the International Year of the Soil citing the threat to one of the key ingredients to the planet’s food and farming systems posed by “expanding cities, deforestation, unsustainable land use, pollution, overgrazing and climate change.”
“In the seed and the soil we find the answers to every one of the crises we face. The crisis of violence and war; the crisis of hunger and disease; the crisis of the destruction of democracy.” —Dr. Vandana Shiva
Though many recognize the FAO declaration as a largely symbolic gesture, many advocates of organic food and sustainable agricultural are planning to seize the designation as a way to push forth their message that the health of the planet’s soil should not be relegated as a metaphorical issue, but rather one that should be at the very heart of serious conversations and policy changes humanity must begin in order to transform its economic systems, its democracies, the way it generates power, and the way it feeds itself.
Dr. Shiva says that within ‘the soil lies the answer to the problems oil has created’ and that ‘organic gardens of hope everywhere’ and ‘farms that grow real food’ can be a powerful enough force to help upend the march of globalized neoliberalism that is taking the planet towards the brink of destruction. (Image: Magnus Franklin/flickr/cc)
Summarizing the issues at stake and the fight ahead, one of the world’s most prominent advocates for democracy and organic agriculture, Dr. Vandana Shiva, an Indian activist and founder of the seed-saving organization Navdanya, has posted an impassioned New Years message to those battling on behalf of food sovereignty, economic egalitarianism, agroecology, climate action, and social justice.