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March 30, 2020

Pakistani cities take part in online events to commemorate Earth Hour


March 30, 2020

Karachi: In the midst of the global COVID-19 health crisis, Earth Hour marked a moment of solidarity for the planet as global communities united and organised events digitally on Saturday.

Pakistan commemorated Earth Hour 2020 entirely online, and the virtual events were observed in different cities across the country. To conserve energy and show commitment towards Earth, non-essential lights in homes and other buildings were switched off from 8:30pm to 9:30pm.

Through symbolic candle-lighting events, the World Wide Fund for Nature-Pakistan’s (WWF-P) goodwill ambassadors, environmentalists and passionate citizens pledged their support for the nature and the people.

This Earth Hour provided a platform for online conversations about the loss of nature and why nature matters to the people. With nature loss continuing unabated, Earth Hour 2020 drew attention to the immediate need to halt nature and biodiversity loss for human health and well-being.

The global moment came ahead of events where world leaders were scheduled to take critical decisions on nature, climate change and development. These have now been postponed. Earth Hour marked a pivotal opportunity for civil society members, citizens, nation heads, CEOs and environmentalists to demonstrate the need for a new deal for nature and people by pledging their support and raising their voice for the planet.

“We are deeply saddened by the loss of lives from the COVID-19 outbreak and our thoughts are with the families who have lost loved ones or who are sick,” said WWF-P Director General Hammad Naqi Khan.

“In this hour of crisis, we acknowledge the need for urgent action and the need to unite now more than ever to safeguard our future and the future of our planet,” he added. “It is a time for solidarity and a time to respond to challenges more creatively and work more collaboratively, which is why Earth Hour is being marked through digital events across the globe.”

WWF goodwill ambassador Anoushay Ashraf said that people-led initiatives around the world like Earth Hour are vital to continue to inspire awareness on the importance of nature and prompt action to help deliver a nature-positive world by the end of the decade.

She also shared that it is important that our next generation connects to nature and values it. She urged that people should unite and make a difference by changing their lifestyles. She said citizens should believe in recycling, minimise their use of plastics and manage energy and water resources wisely. She reiterated that the current coronavirus pandemic, and the massive Amazon rainforest fires and Australian bushfires call for an immediate action to reverse this huge loss.

Ali Rehman, actor and WWF goodwill ambassador, said in his message that Earth Hour gives people an opportunity to go beyond the usual limitations and look at the bigger picture before them.

He also shared that he has joined this campaign to fulfil his part as a responsible global citizen and ignite a much-needed change not only in words but also through practical actions. “We must all come together to work for a better and healthy environment and take every possible effort to tackle the threats faced by the Earth.”

Nature is the lifeline for the 7.6 billion people inhabiting the planet Earth. It underpins our societies and economies and is one of our greatest allies in combating the climate crisis. But today nature is failing like never before. We are destroying the natural systems we rely on for our health and well-being faster than they can replenish themselves — jeopardising our own survival and existence.

We are encroaching on wildlife habitat, putting ourselves and the ecosystems at greater risk. Earth Hour 2020 offers a key opportunity for all of us to join millions of people to raise their voice for securing an international commitment to stop and reverse the loss of nature.

In this challenging time, we must look after one another and the only home we all share — the imperative in making a difference for our collective future is now greater than ever.

Starting as a symbolic ‘lights out’ event in 2007, Earth Hour has grown to become a true mass movement exemplifying the power of people in driving seismic changes. This is not a stand-alone example. Earth Hour 2020 saw people from all across the globe raising their voices to invite action on pressing environmental issues in their countries.

Unprecedented digital events mobilised millions of people online to participate in Earth Hour as never before. Earth Hour, one of the world’s largest grassroots movements for the environment, once again inspired individuals, businesses and organisations in over 180 countries and territories to renew their commitment to the planet.