Indian physicist and environmentalist awarded Sydney Peace Prize

10 May 2010

Dr Vandana Shiva, recipient of the 2010 Sydney Peace Prize.
Dr Vandana Shiva, recipient of the 2010 Sydney Peace Prize.

The distinguished Indian physicist and environmentalist, Dr Vandana Shiva, has been announced as the recipient of the 2010 Sydney Peace Prize.

Dr Shiva is being feted for her "courageous leadership of movements for social justice - the empowerment of women in developing countries, advocacy of the human rights of small farming communities and for her scientific analysis of environmental sustainability."

"Vandana Shiva's work highlights the fundamental connection between human rights and the protection of the environment," said Mary Kostakidis, Chair of the Sydney Peace Foundation, which is associated with the University of Sydney.

"Governments worldwide seek her counsel on sustainable development. She offers solutions to some of the most critical problems posed by the effects of globalisation and climate change on the poorest and most populous nations. Her voice is an essential one as we consider pressing decisions facing the global community."

Speaking from Delhi, Dr Shiva said that she was "honoured to receive this prestigious award and to follow in the footsteps of so many significant world citizens. The protection of biodiversity, support for women in agriculture and for all subsistence farmers are human rights issues which I'll address in Sydney.'

Professor Stuart Rees, Director of the Sydney Peace Foundation, described Dr Shiva as an exciting choice for the award.

"Many communities are threatened by the consequences of global warming, yet in Australia the movement to address this issue has gone to sleep. Vandana's presence in Sydney in November should wake them up," said Professor Rees.

Praising Dr Shiva's last book, Soil Not Oil, which identifies ecologically sound and socially just ways to protect the planet, Professor Rees remarked, "We should not need the pollution from a massive oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico to remind us of Vandana's leadership and wisdom."

Dr Shiva will give the City of Sydney Peace Prize Lecture in the Concert Hall of the Sydney Opera House on 3 November. She will receive the 2010 Sydney Peace Prize on the evening of 4 November and will be the guest of 1,500 high school children in a traditional peace festival welcome held at Cabramatta High School on 5 November.

Media inquiries: Stephanie Whitelock, 9351 2261, 0401 711 361,