International Students Conference on Environment and Climate Change

14 June 2017
Foundation leaders brought a tree to an international conference

The International Students Conference on Environment and Climate Change was hosted on June 3rd, 4th and 5th at Dabla, Sri Ganganagar, India. The conference was hosted by G3S Foundation, with support from the United Religions Initiative, Shree Bishnoi Samiti, and Buddha Johar (Dabla). The young organizers elected to host the conference with the Bishnoi (a.k.a. Vishnoi) community from Rajasthan, India (in the Western That Desert of the Northern State of India) because they follow a set of 29 principles given by Guru Jambheshwar who lived in the 15th century and taught about the importance of protecting wildlife and trees; Guru Jambheshwar taught that harming the environment means harming oneself. 

The idea of International Students Conference on Environment and Climate change Summit Rajasthan India came from Facebook.RamKrishan Visnoi my great friend is an environmentalist, and I created a Proposal of Celebrating Earth Day which was accepted and we did it great in association with United Religion initiative (URI). After the Successful completion of this two days Successful event, me and RamKrishan thought of Environment Day celebration with G3S Foundation governing body and Mr. President Anil Kumar. 

The Bishnoi community tells a story of Amrita Devi, a Bishnoi woman who along with more than 363 other Bishnois died saving the Khejri trees. Nearly two centuries ago, Maharajah Abhay Singh of Jodhpur sought wood for the construction of his new place, so he sent soldiers to cut trees in the nearby region of Khejri where the village was surrounded by a forest. When Amrita Devi and the local villagers noticed the tree cutters, they stood in the way of the king’s men. The feudal party told Amrita Devi that if she wanted the tress to be spared she would have to give them money in exchange. She refused to acknowledge this demand and told them that she would consider it an insult to her religion to take money in exchange for trees and that she would rather give her life to save the trees. 

The International Students Conference on Environment and Climate Change is India’s first international student conference specifically dedicated to environmental issues. The conference was attended by twelve countries, including Hungary, the United States, Nigeria, South Korea, Afghanistan and Portugal, along with 8 India states (Bihar, Jharkhand, Punjab, Assam, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Kerala, Haryana, and Karnataka and more). During the conference G3S Foundation provided an extensive program and curriculum to convey the importance of global environmental issues, specifically focusing on “How Rural Development Can Play An Important Role for Environment Conservation.” 

Conference organizers invited international delegates, including professors, researchers and interfaith organizers to speak on the topic of environmental issues. The conference was dedicated to the following topics and activities: (1) Cultural exchange— One activity during this session included learning about Sikhism and their cultural  history; (2) Guided village expedition of the Bishnoi community; (3) Film screening; (4) Tree planning along the river; (5) Photography; (6) Organic farming— which included a cow shelter exhibition, which explained how to use cow dung and cow urine as pesticides and bio-compost; and (7) Wildlife conservation. While at the conference, participants had the opportunity to interact with the Bishnoi community and Deer (a non-profit conservation organization) as collaborators and partners.