For the first time in its 17-year history, this year’s Earth Hour will also encourage people around the globe to ‘switch off’ themselves

THE world’s largest grassroots environmental movement, WWF’s Earth Hour, is set to create the ‘Biggest Hour for Earth’ yet at 8.30pm today. The event will be held across 190 countries and territories. More individuals, businesses and communities than ever are expected to join in.

They will ‘Give an Hour for Earth’, spending 60 minutes doing something positive for our planet, said WWF-Malaysia in a statement.

Global landmarks expected to take part in the switch-off moment include prominent buildings in Klang Valley, the Sydney Opera House, Beijing Phoenix Center, Taipei 101, the Eiffel Tower, and the Empire State Building.

Buildings in other states of Malaysia will also be taking part in the project.

For the first time in its 17-year history, this year’s Earth Hour will also encourage people around the globe to ‘switch off’ themselves. They are encouraged to take a break from their routine and everyday distractions, and decide what they can do to restore our one home.

Millions of supporters are already gearing up to celebrate this year’s Earth Hour. Many are set to take part in beach cleanups, tree planting and a variety of exciting events taking place across the world.

WWF-Malaysia launched an Earth Hour 2023 video contest, which calls for the supporters to send in videos with a shout-out to support Earth Hour. Among the supporter of the contest is Belia Prihatin, a collective of young people registered under Malaysian Ministry of Youth and Sports.

It is also a member of Youngo – the official youth wing of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change representing Malaysia.

Many of the world’s most influential ambassadors and changemakers have confirmed to take part. Malaysian singer-songwriter Zee Avi, along with other influencers and key opinion leaders will be giving an hour to Earth.

WWF will bank as many planet-positive pledges as possible, as part of an innovative ‘Hour Bank’. This provides different options on how to pledge an hour in what WWF expects to be the biggest Earth Hour yet.

The organisation aims to amass seven years’ worth of hours – mirroring the time we have left to take action to secure a nature-positive world for the sake of people and planet.

Already the Hour Bank has received thousands of pledges from people in more than 70 countries, including: Argentina, Suriname, Saudi Arabia, Cambodia, Bulgaria, France, Jamaica, Nepal, Romania, China and Bulgaria.

WWF-Malaysia executive director and chief executive officer Sophia Lim said, “Climate change is real and it’s happening now. It’s affecting our planet in many ways, from rising sea levels to devastating wildfires and extreme weather events.

“However, we are not helpless in the face of this crisis. We can all take action.

“We need to act now to save our planet, and create a sustainable future for ourselves and future generations. Let this year’s Earth Hour serve as a powerful reminder of the importance of our planet, the need to protect it, and how little time we have to do so.”

This year’s Earth Hour comes hot on the heels of the historic Kunming-Montreal Agreement at COP15. In December last year, it committed the world to halting and reversing biodiversity loss by 2030.

WWF warns that alarming and unprecedented rates of nature loss are putting species at risk of extinction. More people and families in communities across the world are set to lose their homes and access to basic necessities.

Food, clean water and a livable environment will be hard to come by.

Last year’s WWF’s latest Living Planet report highlighted that one million species are now threatened with extinction and global wildlife populations have declined by a staggering 69% since 1970.

Earth Hour is thus more important than ever, to ensure that 2023 is the year of change needed to reach the crucial 2030 nature-positive goal. With more people than ever expected to take part in this year’s event, WWF-Malaysia urged everyone to join in.

Set your timers for 8.30pm today, switch off your lights, and spend 60 minutes doing something positive for our planet.

– The Vibes, March 25, 2023

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