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Resources/Global Citizenship

The Contributions of South Asian Jesuits to Environmental Work

Global Citizenship, The Environment

By Savarimuthu Ignacimuthu, S.J. Entomology Research Institute, Loyola College, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
Nov 1st, 2017

Almost from the moment they arrived there in 1542, Jesuits in India and Sri Lanka have made substantial contributions to the scientific disciplines. In the initial stages they were not directly involved in environmental works, but in recent years many are taking the initiative to work for environmental justice. Some Jesuits are involved in raising awareness on environmental issues, such as promoting reforestation and watershed programs, whereas others work to provide safe drinking water or to prevent tree-felling, while others study local biodiversity and are creating and maintaining botanical gardens. Other environmental projects include the promotion of solar energy, biopesticides and biofertilizers for organic farming, the micropropagation of rare, endangered, and threatened (rets) plant species (so that they may be replanted in greater numbers), the formation of local centers and eco clubs where students and others can collaborate for a healthier environment. Several Jesuits are also active politically assuming advocacy roles, and writing books and research articles in the interest of environmental conservation. A select few Jesuits are even recognized on a national level for their contributions to environmental causes.