Caption: WWF South Pacific Communications Manager, Patricia Mallam and Punjas Group Marketing Manager, Gopal Jadhav at the signing of Ocean Soaps’ sponsorship agreement for Earth Hour night. Photo: SUPPLIED
With the world’s biggest movement for the planet approaching, WWF-South Pacific is calling for support from not only the corporate but local communities as well.
This year WWF launched Earth Hour Blue, the first crowdfunding and crowdsourcing platform for the planet. This pro-planet campaign encourages people to support and raise funds for projects identified by their respective WWF offices.
In support of this global event WWF-South Pacific is organising a series of initiatives that will not only garner the support of Fijian participants but also enable communities on the ground to achieve outcomes.
As part of the organisation’s crowd funding and crowd sourcing initiative, WWF-South Pacific will be looking to install much-needed solar powered electricity kits and water tanks in villages along the Great Sea Reef (GSR), specifically the four village community halls in the Mali district, Matailabasa, Ligaulevu, Nakawaga and Vesi.
“The GSR, being the largest reef system in Fiji, is of ecological importance and is the focal of WWF-South Pacific’s conservation efforts as it plays a crucial role in sustaining the livelihoods of thousands of people, supports a huge array of marine life and is globally significant for its biodiversity,” explained Sally Bailey, Conservation Director for WWF-South Pacific. “Assisting villages along the GSR by addressing key challenges they face also reduces the negative impacts from their activities on this fragile ecosystem.”
“Earth Hour is about empowering individuals to use their power to effect small-scale positive change leading to global impacts,” said Patricia Mallam, Communications Manager WWF-South Pacific.
“Earth Hour Blue’s crowdfunding platform presents even more opportunities for individuals to support conservation which results in immediate impacts, especially so in the case of Fiji – with the “Switch on for Mali” project, where communities in dire need of basic amenities can be given a great start to sustainable lifestyles.”
“The installation of solar powered lighting kits for the community halls will reduce the villagers’ reliance on diesel powered generators, kerosene and battery powered lanterns which often end up in the ocean posing more environmental threats.”
Ocean Soaps, an avid supporter of Earth Hour for the past 6 years, has already committed to funding the dinner to kick-start the crowdfunding initiative. In addition to the financial support provided, Ocean Soaps is also providing in-kind and capacity support for the event, illustrating how the private sector can contribute to conservation initiatives, whilst achieving its Corporate Social Responsibility goals.
“For Ocean Soaps, the bigger picture is our home Fiji, our surrounding Pacific Ocean with its many nations and the future of its generations,” said Gopal Jadhav, Punjas Group Marketing Manager.
“Our immediate challenge is Climate Change. It threatens our Pacific islands, our consumers which are spread through many nations.
“At Ocean Soaps, we have recently taken steps to ensure we deliberately incorporate measures to address the environment. The world we live in is fragile – our resources limited. We have countless generations to consider. It is no longer just about us.
“Over the last few years, we at Ocean Soaps have invested in human resources and technology to ensure our products are environmentally-friendly.”
To fund this environmental electrification project, WWF-South Pacific encourages members of the public to use their power to support in one of three ways: logging onto to earthhour.org and making an online donation to the “Switch on for Mali” Project, making donations directly to the project bank account or purchasing tickets to the Earth Hour Blue Candle Light dinner hosted by His Excellency the President, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau on the night of Earth Hour, Saturday 29 March, 2014.