[act-ma] Sat 11/6: The Future of Commons in a Commodified World

Umang Kumar umkumar at gmail.com
Wed Nov 3 19:38:08 PDT 2010



   The Future of Commons in a Commodified World


 SPEAKERS: Leo Saldanha & Bhargavi Rao,
          Environment Support Group, India

TALK: Saturday, November 6, 2010(6:30pm)
      MIT, Building 4, Room 145

The talk is FREE & OPEN to all.

Spread the details by the Facebook Event:


When the Indian Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh
ordered a moratorium on the release of Bt Brinjal,
India's first GMO, he carefully sidestepped a critical
consideration. In the run up of public consultations
 leading to this decision, an important concern was raised
that US TNC Monsanto along with its collaborators
promoting the commodity had criminally appropriated
local brinjal varieties in comprehensive violation of
 Biodiversity laws. Such omissions in judgments are
indicative of the scant regard paid to the need to
protect local communities' traditional knowledge and
genetic wealth. It also highlights the rapid
degeneration of the value attached to the commons in
 an increasingly commodified world. Be it genetic
diversity, lakes, urban commons or grazing pastures
and forests, there is a dynamic shift in law and policy
to commodify the commons and make them available for
 profit. Rivers, lakes and water are being privatised,
and it is only because of public action that such
corporate efforts to profit from the commons have
been defeated. This raises important questions about
 the value of law and policy in protecting public
interest, considering that the commons are critical
to the sustenance of livelihoods of the poor in urban
and rural areas, and especially for natural resource
 dependent communities

Leo F. Saldanha and Bhargavi S. Rao, Trustees and
Coordinators of ESG lead the initiative. Together
they have helped build campaigns and research
projects which have had widepreas impact on securing
 public interest.

Leo has a background in Environmental Sciences and
has gained wide-ranging experience in the areas of
Environmental Law and Policy, Decentralisation,
Urban Planning and a variety of Human Rights and
 Development related issues working with local
communities and voluntary intiatives for close to
two decades. He has co-authored "Green Tapism" and
several other publications. He was recently invited
by UNDP and China Insitute for Reform and Development
to address a large gathering of Chinese public
officials on bridging the urban-rural divide in China.

Bhargavi has a M. Phil. in Botany from Bangalore
University and prior to joining ESG has worked in
the Dept. of Microbiology and Cell Biology of the
Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, and as a
lecturer in schools and colleges. She has developed
a variety of innovative educational programmes for
students at all levels and for teachers and community
motivators. She is currently a "Saathi" (fellow) of
the Association of India's Development, USA and a
visiting Faculty at the Vivekananda Institute for
Leadership and Development, Mysore.

Leo and Bhargavi together have coordinated and
served as Faculty in the India sector of the
"Cities in the 21st Century" and "Health and
Community" programmes in collaboration with
 International Honours Programme (USA) through

MORE DETAILS: www.aidboston.org or www.aidindia.org
CONTACT US: info at aidboston.org

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