Kolkata March 29th 2015. The St. Xavier’s Global Earth Summit IV a 3 day International Conference on Global Climate Change and Water Disasters, concluded today. The conference, the first of its kind where Jesuits from around the world participated discussed the threats posed by the twin threats facing mankind – Global Warming and Climate Change – and the ways and means of creating a response system with a view towards their mitigation. The special emphasis of the conference was on water – whose boon and bane has risen to sharper focus as a direct and perhaps most threateningly potent fallout of the changing climatic patterns.The Conference was organised by the Department of Environmental Science, St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata; in association with the Social Justice and Ecology Secretariat (SJES), Rome; Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority (KMDA), Kolkata and the Collectorate, South 24 Parganas, West Bengal. ITC India was the title sponsor to this event
The conference was significant as it addressed Jesuit preachers who are universally acknowledged as teachers – souls dedicated to spreading knowledge in every corner of the Earth for close to six centuries now. The conference aimed at addressing and empowering the delegates, who are either workers in the grassroots or teachers of related subjects in Jesuit institutions around the world, so that they may, in turn, spread awareness about the impending threats and work towards their mitigation.
Dr. Atiq Rehman, climate research scientist and Executive Director BCAS Bangladesh delivered the key note address. The Magsaysay Award Winner, Water Man of India, Mr. Rajendra Singh of the Tarun Bhagat Sangh, Rajastan, shared his deep insight about the struggle for and the democratization of Water. Dr. Xavier Savarimuthu, Head, Environmental Studies, St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata and the Convener of the Earth Summit regaled the audience with his presentation on the Corporatisation of water – on how an ubiquity is being converted into a commodity, a weapon of exploitation.
Key theme speakers included Dr. Pedro Walpole SJ, Ateneo de Manila University, Quezon City, Philippines, Dr. Fernando Serrano, Saint Louis University, USA, Dr. Francoise Orban-Ferauge, University of Namur, Belgium.Dr. Sugata Hazra, Jadavpur University, Kolkata, Mr. Protap Chakravarti, Former Director, Geological Survey of India, Kolkata also quenched the thirst for enlightenment with their knowledge. Fr. Jeyaraj Veluswamy, the head of the Jesuits in West Bengal welcomed the participants and explained the rationale behind the organisation of the conference while Fr. Dr. Felix Raj, the Principal of St. Xavier’s College gave the Valedictory Address.
As part of the conference a field trip to the Sunderbans Biosphere Reserve, the Tsunami and Aila affected sites and areas that have been affected by water salination was also organised so that participants could rise above the academic discourse and experience the impending (or is it quietly corroding?) threat posed by water.
For More Information contact
Rev. Fr. S. Xavier, SJ, Convener, SXC Global Earth Summit and Head of the Dept. of Environmental Studies, St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata