The St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata has been at the forefront of spreading the light of knowledge in the more than hundred and fifty years of its being. The Institution, one of the most revered of its kind in the world has been known for its eternal Search for Excellence and for singularly striving to empower young men and women to be good human beings as opposed to merely learning by rote.
It is as an extension of this principle that the Global Earth Summit was thought out – so that students and teachers alike could get a platform to understand the threat and work towards the preparation of the response to the twin threats of Climate Change and Global Warming. The Department of Environmental Studies of the St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata under the stewardship of Rev Fr. Dr. S. Xavier, SJ did not want to restrict the students merely to the written word and wanted to expose them to the acknowledged leaders of the respective fields, vocal proponents from all sides of the argument so that the young minds could seek the truth out for themselves and form their opinion in the process. The enthusiastic blessings and active guidance of the Principal of the College, Rev. Fr. Dr. J. Felix Raj, SJ, ensured the thought reach its fruition and the 1st Chapter of the Global Earth Summit was organised in the College Auditorium on March 11-12, 2011. The event with the theme: A Sustainable Earth – Nihil Ultra (Nothing Beyond) was organised in Association with the United Nations Information Centre for India and Bhutan.
The resounding success and the enthusiastic participation of the students led to the organisation of the 2nd Chapter of the SXC Earth Summit on March 29 – 30, 2012 with the theme: The Environmental Migrant – the human face of Climate Change. The conference highlighted the woes of the impending human disaster of climate refugees – a people without a home with nowhere to go and no one to turn to.
The 3rd SXC Earth Summit with the theme Environmental Stewardship and Corporate Social Responsibility was organised on February 22-23, 2013 with the School of Engineering of the Santa Clara University of the US of A as the Associate Organiser. Industry-Academia interface as a means towards reversing the motions of change that have been set on course by man’s callousness and greed was the key issue around which the conference was strung together.
Explaining the raison d’etre of the Earth Summit, Rev Father Dr. S. Xavier, SJ, the moving spirit behind the conference said “The hallowed portalsof the St. Xavier’s have been built and nurtured over the last 155 years by the toils of the Jesuit Fathers, dedicated faculty and loyal students. It is a pluralistic and diverse institution with many departments framed around the Jesuit tradition of education that has a distinguished history spanning five centuries. St. Xavier’s is also committed to the cause of social justice and has therefore devised the rural outreach programme. It stands for education with a human face. And it is a part of this larger goal, this holistic view towards education that compels us to create newer chapters of the Earth Summit – each of which has sought, and will continue to seek, to highlight one burning Climate issue facing mankind so that not only is it discussed by some of the most enlightened minds in the domain but also help in the evolution of an adequate response mechanism.”
Another notable highlight of the SXC earth Summit has been the spirited participation of Corporate Houses since the very inception – as speakers, sponsors and delegates. ITC continues to be the Title Sponsor of the event.\
The St. Xavier’s Global Earth Summit IV, with the conference theme Global Climate Change and Water Disasters will be held on March 27-29, 2015. The Conference is being organised by the Department of Environmental Science, St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata in association with the SJES.
Jesuit Fathers who are engaged in teaching and working on the ground fighting the ill effects of Climate Change from around the world will be attending the conference along with teachers and students of the St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata. Revered Speakers like Dr. Atiq Rehman, Fr. Jose Ignacio Garcia,SJ and Dr. Pedro Walpole, SJ will share their insights with the audience. The conference will also feature a field trip to the Sunderbans Biosphere Reserve wherein delegates will visit Cyclone and salination affected sites to study the adverse effects of global warming and climate change.