Saturday May 18, 2024

Earth Hour widely observed to show solidarity with planet

By Ali Raza
March 27, 2022

LAHORE : Earth Hour, the world’s largest grassroots movement for climate change, was observed by millions of people around the world to show solidarity for both people and the planet.

This year’s event invited people around the globe to unite in a moment of reflection on our relationship with each other and our collective home. WWF-Pakistan partnered with McDonald’s to commemorate Earth Hour with a kick-off event in Lahore held at the Defence Phase 3 McDonald’s outlet. The event was attended by guests like Raina Khan Burki who has received various accolades like the Tamgha-e-Fakhr-e-Imtiaz, Diana Award, Pride of Pakistan - ISPR. WWF’s staff including Hammad Naqi Khan, Director General, WWF-Pakistan, journalists and the public were present at the event where the lights were switched off and the Earth Hour video was screened.

The event concluded with the Director-General addressing the audience by stating that “Earth Hour is more than just a symbol of support - it aims to increase awareness and spark global conversations on protecting nature not only to combat the climate crisis but to ensure our own health, happiness, prosperity and even survival. This year we want to highlight actions that people can take in their everyday lives to restore nature and reduce the effects of climate change and be a part of sustainable activities by taking small steps.”

Asif Ghaffar, Director Supply Chain, Quality Assurance, New Product Development McDonald’s stated that 2022 is a critical year for the planet. “This year decisions are being taken by world leaders on climate action and sustainable development. We at McDonald’s fully realise that climate change is a serious threat to our planet. Our supply chain has already been working along with the sustainable development goal guidelines. McDonald’s Pakistan is geared up to collaborate with other organisations and businesses to take necessary control measures. Let’s take care of planet Earth; there’s no plan B!”

To conserve energy and show a commitment towards mitigating climate change, the lights were switched off between 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm at the following landmarks in Islamabad; Parliament House, Supreme Court of Pakistan, Election Commission of Pakistan, Shah Faisal Mosque, Pakistan National Monument, Convention Centre, Pak China Friendship Centre, Damn-e-Koh, Lake View Park, Main Highways (Jinnah Avenue, Nazim ud Din Road, 7th Avenue, 9th Avenue).

Moreover, the lights of the main road on D Chowk in front of the parliament house were also turned off. Sadiq Sanjrani, Chairman of the Senate extended his unequivocal support in celebrating Earth Hour 2022 by stating that climate change is impacting the lives and livelihoods of everyone around the world. Given the scale of disasters caused by the phenomenon, it is about time every citizen of the world contributes towards reversing and tackling this man-made occurrence. He continued and said “Grassroot level-initiatives such as Earth Hour certainly contribute towards that end.

I would like to felicitate the WWF-Pakistan management and team in successfully running the campaign in Pakistan for the past several years in partnership with all stakeholders. The Parliament of Pakistan, with both houses and the secretariats, is certainly pleased to be part of the symbolic initiative. The Senate of Pakistan along with its Secretariat is happy to support the initiative this year and in the years to come. I urge everyone to switch off all unnecessary lights and other electric appliances at their homes, offices and shops to partake in the initiative on Saturday, 26 March 2022 from 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm and show their commitment towards saving this planet for our future generations.”

Lt Gen (retd) Muzammil Hussain, Chairman WAPDA issued a statement endorsing Earth Hour 2022 and said “WAPDA in its endeavour and bit to demonstrate concern about Mother Nature fully supports and endorses this remarkable initiative by WWF-Pakistan by turning off all lights for one hour from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. in all its offices across Lahore.” United Bank Limited joined hands with WWF-Pakistan to plant 1,000 mangrove saplings in Karachi for this year's Earth Hour activities. Shazad G. Dada, President and CEO of UBL, on this occasion said, "As part of our commitment to environmental, social and governance initiatives, UBL is proud to be a part of this global occasion. We must work together to implement environmentally friendly policies across the country, including reducing our carbon footprint and the use of renewable energy and recyclable materials. UBL in partnership with WWF-Pakistan will be conducting a tree plantation drive as part of our environment conservancy initiatives.”

Moreover, Earth Hour 2022 was celebrated across WWF-Pakistan’s regional offices like Multan, Rahim Yar Khan, Sukkur, etc where events took place to mark the day with local partners and organizations. WWF-Pakistan also collaborated with the Dawood Foundations in Karachi and celebrated the day at the Magnifiscience Centre. Student engagement activities at the centre were conducted not only on Earth Hour but through the span of a week to raise awareness.

Nature based documentaries were also screened for the visitors of the centre. WWF-Pakistan’s Goodwill Ambassadors including Ushna Shah, Adnan Malik, Anoshey Ashraf, Aisam ul Haq Qureshi, Khalid Malik, Sophia Anjam, Samar Khan along with other influencers helped promote the message of conserving nature through ‘non-powered activities; who posted on their social media platforms to disseminate the message of protecting the natural world and reducing the affects of climate change by changing our daily routine and adopting eco-friendly activities. Starting as a symbolic ‘lights out’ event in 2007, Earth Hour has grown to become a true mass movement galvanizing the power of people to herald in change.