Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of themselves and their family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond their control.
Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance.
Navdanya is born of a vision that all beings have intrinsic value and an inherent right to live, grow and evolve to their full potential through their self organisation. The diversity of biological life forms and cultures is the basis of peace, harmony and sustainability. We therefore view the conservation of biodiversity and protection of all life forms as a fundamental human duty, as our universal responsibility.
Navdanya also has a vision that all humans have a fundamental right to ecological, economic and political security, to the protection and defense of their resources, their livelihoods and production and consumption patterns shaped by people through their participation. Biodiversity provides the basis of livelihoods of the marginalized majority – of women, peasants, tribals, fisher folk. Biodiversity offers the potential to overcome poverty and powerlessness.
Through biodiversity, we envision improving the productivity and incomes of rural communities, thus combining the conservation of nature with removal of poverty, destitution and misery. Biodiversity also enriches our lives by sustaining cultural diversity. And it is through the flourishing of diverse cultures conditions are created for peace and harmony among the human community.
“Life will not be a pyramid with the apex sustained by the bottom. But it will be an oceanic circle whose center will be the individual always ready to perish for the village, the latter ready to perish for the circle of villages till at last the whole becomes one life composed of individuals, never aggressive in their arrogance, but ever humble, sharing the majesty of he oceanic circle of which they are integral units. Therefore, the outermost circumference will not wield power to crush the inner circle, but will give strength to all within and will derive its own strength from it.”
We in Navdanya view the right to biodiversity and knowledge to livelihoods and creativity as fundamental human rights in accordance with the UN Declaration of Human Rights, and in the footsteps of Gandhi’s economic constitution of 1928. Vital resources like biodiversity and water are necessary for survival and well-being. They should be accessible to all. In our vision, biodiversity and water are the ultimate commons, which should not be privatized and commodified.
Our vision is based on the imperative to create alternatives to gigantism and centralisation by building on the strengths of the small and the decentralized and for sustainability and justice, for freedom and peace. A globalisation of the local, rather than a globalisation driven by giant corporations and institutions is our vision.
Ecological recovery cannot be based on centralized and globalised control over resources. It has to be based on the decentralized logic of Gandhi’s “ever-widening, never ascending’ circles.
Navdanya’s vision is based on earth democracy – the participation of all people and species in the common welfare of all.
Gandhi’s Economic Constitution
According to me the economic constitution of India and for the matter of that of the world, should be such that no one under it should suffer from want of food and clothing. In other words everybody should be able to get sufficient work to enable him to make the two ends meet. And this ideal can be universally realized only if the means of production of the elementary necessaries of life remain in the control of the masses. These should be freely available to all as God’s air and water are or ought to be; they should not be made a vehicle of traffic for the exploitation of others. Their monopolization by and country, nation or group of persons would be unjust. The neglect of this simple principle is the cause of the destitution that we witness today not only in this unhappy land but in other parts of the world too.
Principles of Earth Democracy
- All species, peoples and cultures have intrinsic worth
- The earth community is a democracy of all life
- Diversity in nature and culture must be defended
- All beings have a natural right to sustenance
- Earth Democracy is based on living economies and economic democracy
- Living economies are built on local economies
- Earth Democracy is a living democracy
- Earth Democracy is based on living cultures
- Living cultures are life nourishing
- Earth Democracy globalizes peace, care, and compassion