Earth Hour 2019 to inspire global awareness and action on why nature matters

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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,” added Uvais.

He also said, “As a country which has ratified the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in 1994, Biodiversity conservation is a responsibility of all Sri Lankans. 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 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”.

“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.

Visit www.earthhour.org 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.

WWF

WWF is one of the world’s largest and most respected independent conservation organizations, with over 5 million supporters and a global network active in over 100 countries. WWF’s mission is to stop the degradation of the earth’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature, by conserving the world’s biological diversity, ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable, and promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption.Visit panda.org/news for latest news and media resources

 Earth Hour

Earth Hour is WWF’s global environmental movement. Born in Sydney in 2007, Earth Hour has grown to become the world’s largest grassroots movement for the environment, inspiring individuals, communities, businesses and organizations in more than 180 countries and territories to take tangible climate action for over a decade. More recently, Earth Hour has focused on raising awareness and inspiring conversations on why nature matters. 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.

 Convention on Biological Diversity

Opened for signature at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, and entering into force in December 1993, the Convention on Biological Diversity is an international treaty for the conservation of biodiversity, the sustainable use of the components of biodiversity and the equitable sharing of the benefits derived from the use of genetic resources. With 196 Parties so far, the Convention has near universal participation among countries. The Convention seeks to address all threats to biodiversity and ecosystem services, including threats from climate change, through scientific assessments, the development of tools, incentives and processes, the transfer of technologies and good practices and the full and active involvement of relevant stakeholders including indigenous and local communities, youth, NGOs, women and the business community. For more information visit: www.cbd.int.

 International Climate Initiative (IKI)

Since 2008, the International Climate Initiative (IKI) of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) has been financing climate and biodiversity projects in developing and newly industrialising countries, as well as in countries in transition. In the early years of the programme, its financial resources came from the proceeds of auctioning allowances under the emissions trading scheme. To ensure financial continuity, further funds were made available through the Special Energy and Climate Fund. Both funding mechanisms are now part of the Federal Environment Ministry’s regular budget.

The IKI is a key element of Germany’s climate financing and the funding commitments in the framework of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). The Initiative places clear emphasis on climate change mitigation, adaptation to the impacts of climate change and the protection of biological diversity. These efforts provide various co-benefits, particularly the improvement of living conditions in partner countries.

https://www.international-climate-initiative.com/en/about-the-iki/iki-funding-instrument