Earth Hour, the world’s largest grassroots movement for the environment, is set to once again unite millions of people around the world to show their commitment to the planet. As global biodiversity declines at an unprecedented rate, coupled with the ever-present challenge of climate change, Earth Hour 2019 will focus its efforts on raising awareness and inspiring action on conserving nature and biodiversity. The movement recognizes the role of individuals in creating solutions to the planet’s most pressing environmental challenges and harnesses the collective power of its millions of supporters to build a sustainable future for all.
This year is set to be another record breaker, with more than 180 countries and territories coming together to highlight and invite action on the environmental issues that are most relevant to them. Kenya, for example, aims to plant 1 billion trees by 2030 to restore forest cover. In Malaysia, people will be petitioning to put tiger conservation on the national agenda. Indonesia aims to connect with 5 million young people encouraging them to adopt a greener lifestyle. Ecuador is pushing for a no-plastic law in the capital Quito, and Finland will be challenging over a quarter of the country’s population to adopt a more planet-friendly diet.
“Nature is vitally important to everyone’s daily lives; it underpins our economic prosperity and development, our health, our well-being, our very survival. But we are pushing the planet to the limit and nature is severely under threat” said Marco Lambertini, Director General, WWF International. “The time to act is now. Earth Hour 2019 is an unmissable opportunity to create an unstoppable movement for nature similar to when we came together to tackle climate change. We need a New Deal for Nature and People.”
In Sri Lanka, Earth Hour will focus on raising awareness and inspiring conversations on why nature matters and also on local environment issues. In this endeavor Earth Hour Sri Lanka will leverage on the global partnership between WWF and the world Scouts movement partnership to work closely with the local scouts movement.
“We know that Sri Lanka together with the Western Ghats of India, is endowed with a rich biodiversity and considered, one of the biodiversity hotspots in the world.” Said Abdul Qadir Uvais, Country Representative of Earth Hour. “However High population density and expansion of the human environment are increasingly threatening Sri Lanka’s biodiversity, which may lead to extinction of species.” Further added Uvais. “As a country which has ratified the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in 1994, Biodiversity conservation is a responsibility of all Sri Lankans” said Uvais. He further added that “People are just one part of Earth’s vast web of life and most of the resources we use come from the environment. That’s why we have to do our part to protect the Environment around us!”
When asked about what actions individuals can do to be part of this global Earth Hour campaign, the local Earth Hour Country Representative, Abdul Qadir Uvais had this to say;
Earth Hour Sri Lanka is asking the government, businesses, organizations & individuals to:
• Switch off non-essential lights (corporate signage) on Saturday 30th March 2019 from 8.30 pm- 9.30 pm
• Join the movement by signing up and taking part at www.earthhour.org
• Go beyond the symbolic gesture of switching off non-essential lights for Earth Hour and drive climate action throughout the year, leading an environmentally conscious lifestyle.
I am thankful for the Sri Lanka Scouts movement for coming on board to work in partnership with Earth Hour Sri Lanka and playing a major role in these initiatives with the active participation of young scouts and rover scouts” said Abdul Qadir Uvais. “I also wish to thank Mr. Vimukthi Weerathunga and Dr. Ajanthaa Perera, two great personalities who have contributed immensely to Sri Lanka with their knowledge and subject matter expertise, for their unstinted support to create awareness among the Sri Lankan public on the importance of nature and environment challenges faced in Sri Lanka together with solutions” said Abdul Qadir Uvais.
Earth Hour aims to mobilize individuals, businesses and governments to be a part of the conversation and solutions needed to build a healthy, sustainable future – and planet – for all. In the past decade, Earth Hour has inspired millions to support and participate in critical climate and environmental initiatives, helping drive climate policy, awareness and action. Among its highlights, the movement has helped in the creation of a 3.5 million hectare marine-protected area in Argentina, a 2,700-hectare Earth Hour forest in Uganda and helped pass new legislation for the protection of seas and forests in Russia. Last year French Polynesia moved to protect 5 million square kilometers of its seas to preserve ocean ecosystems.
According to recent WWF research in 10 of the world’s most bio-diverse countries, only 40 per cent of people associate the benefits of nature with necessities of life such as food, water, and fresh air. In a bid to build mass awareness on the values of biodiversity and nature, by kick-starting global conversations on issues such as climate action, healthy oceans and sustainable business, for Earth Hour 2019 WWF has partnered with United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity to create connect2earth.org
. This is a new platform designed to share ideas and tools to push for action and change. The project is supported by Germany’s Federal Ministry of the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety with funding from the International Climate Initiative.
to know what’s happening in locations around the world and read individuals’ stories about what they are doing for our planet. This is our time to secure a healthy, sustainable and climate-resilient future for all.