The world’s largest movement for the planet, Earth Hour is calling on all Fijians to join the rest of the world in taking up actions that will help protect the health of our home – Planet Earth.
The call was made at the Fiji launch of the 2013 campaign in Suva today.
Millions of people, in more than 7000 cities and towns across 152 countries and territories will turn off their lights for one hour on March 23, at 8.30pm.
But Earth Hour is much more than just the symbolic lights of f for an hour – it consists of actions, big and small taken every hour with the aim of changing the world we live in.
WWF South Pacific Communications Manager Patricia Mallam said Earth Hour is a call to action that does not segregate along the lines of ethnicity, age group, gender or physical ability.
“From the youngest to our most senior citizens, there are simple things that we can do to help the wheel of positive change spinning. For instance a child commits to picking up rubbish, a mother to using water sparingly and a farmer adopts organic farming,” she said.
“Businesses committing to recycling, governments to introducing green policies and so many more things that can be done,” she said.
“We all must do something because we have a duty, a responsibility to ensuring the survival of our planet through sustainable actions.
“We are all needed because it is only through the unity of our efforts that we can make a real difference and protect the environment or the very system that supports our existence, our survival as people, as Fijians.
“After all healthy economies, healthy homes and a healthy Fijian nation depend on a healthy environment – that is the message of Earth Hour.”
Fiji’s launch follows on the heel of the global launch of the 2013 campaign in Singapore on February 26 on the back of the success of 2012.
His Excellency the President and Earth Hour Ambassador RatuEpeliNailatikau successfully rallied support for the environment with corporate bodies and the government through his I Will If You Will Challenge.
RatuEpeli walked 30 kilometers in return.
Following on from the massive success of its 120,000-strong signature petition, WWF’s Earth Hour in Russia has launched its 2013 campaign aiming to secure more than 100,000 signatures from Russian citizens to petition for amendments to the current forest legislation. If successful, it will return a ban on industrial logging in an area of land equal to twice the size of France, with protective forests equalling almost 18% of all forest territory in the country.
In Africa, the first Earth Hour Forest has begun in the nation of Uganda, an important first step in the fight against the 6,000 hectares of deforestation that occurs in the country every month. WWF Uganda identified close to 2,700 hectares of degraded land, and set a goal to fill it with at least 500,000 indigenous trees as part of their Earth Hour 2013 campaign.
In Botswana, former President Mr Festus Mogae has made a four-year commitment to plant one million indigenous trees as part of his I Will If You Will challenge, starting with 100,000 in a severely degraded area in Southern Botswana called Goodhope.
Across Latin America, preparations for ‘La Hora Del Planeta’ are well underway with Argentinian Earth Hour organisers and WWF affiliate Fundación Vida Silvestre Argentina, mobilizing thousands of participants to help champion the passing of a Senate bill to make BancoBurwoodthe biggest Marine Protected Area (MPA) in the country.
If the pending Senate bill is passed, the 3.4 million-hectare MPA willraise the level of protection of Argentina’s Exclusive Economic Zone* from 1% to 4%.
In the USA, nearly 35,000 Girls Scouts took part in Earth Hour last year through the Save Energy Project, and installed 132,141 energy efficient light bulbs across the country. The impact is a staggering 75,392,654 pounds of CO2 emissions eliminated, equivalent to the CO2 sequestration from planting 7,286 acres of trees per year*.
Earth Hour 2013 will take place at 8.30pm – 9.30pm on Saturday 23 March