Earth Hour to spark awareness and rally action for a healthy planet
Earth Hour, WWF’s landmark movement, is set to once again unite millions of people around the world to show their commitment to the planet. As our only shared home faces the dual challenge of climate change and plummeting biodiversity, the world’s largest grassroots movement for the environment aims to mobilise individuals, businesses and governments to be a part of the conversation and solutions needed to build a healthy, sustainable future – and planet – for all.
Having started as a symbolic lights out event in Sydney in 2007, Earth Hour is now celebrated in more than 180 countries and territories as a global moment of solidarity for the planet. Online, #EarthHour and related terms last year generated over 3.5 billion impressions in the run up to Earth Hour, trending in at least 30 countries worldwide on the night. The movement has been a game-changer for popularising climate and environmental action across the globe. As global biodiversity declines at an unprecedented rate, Earth Hour will focus its efforts on galvanising mainstream support for action on biodiversity and nature.
In the past decade, Earth Hour has inspired audience worldwide to support and participate in critical climate and conservation projects led by WWF and many others, helping drive climate policy, awareness and action. Closer to home, roaring public support for Earth Hour added momentum to appeals to the state government. Notably the 2015 and 2016 Earth Hour events in Kudat of Sabah echoed voices of the public support to the establishment of the 900,000 hectare Tun Mustapha Park (TMP), which is crucial for marine conservation. WWF-Malaysia played a key role during the decade-long journey towards the establishment of TMP, which was officially gazetted in May 2016.
This year, WWF and Earth Hour teams around the world will be using the movement to highlight the environmental issues most relevant in their country or region. Earth Hour 2018 aims to spark conversation and interest on accelerating climate change and staggering biodiversity loss, using Connect2Earth as a call for people worldwide to connect with the environmental issues and causes that they personally care about.
Given the scale and impacts of climate change we are already seeing in the local scene, the state governments and city councils, businesses and individuals all play an important role in drawing attention to climate action and driving sustainable initiatives.
YBhg Dato’ Mohd Azizi bin Mohd Zain, Mayor of Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ), informed the attending crowd that MBPJ has fulfilled their Earth Hour 2017 pledge to equip each household in Petaling Jaya with a complimentary 120 litre-capacity rubbish bin. They have also made progress in their campaign of recycling used cooking oil into biodiesel to promote the use of renewable energy. In addition, MBPJ is aspiring to transform Petaling Jaya into a smart city with the application of technology and big data to enhance the efficiency in city governance and lower the carbon footprint.
Thiagarajan Nadeson, WWF-Malaysia Head of Markets and Education, highlighted that WWF-Malaysia is committed to complement the council’s efforts by increasing political leadership, public engagement and entrepreneurship to transform cities. For instance, the organisation aims to support the creation and development of WWF’s One Planet City Challenge around the globe – recognising cities that enable people to thrive and prosper while respecting the ecological limits of our one and only planet. “WWF-Malaysia extends our sincere thanks to MBPJ, the Selangor state government and Sunway Giza Mall for their valuable support. We also thank our Earth Hour corporate sponsor Samsung Malaysia Electronics for their important contribution to our conservation efforts,” said Thiagarajan Nadeson.
Also present to flag off the Earth Hour 2018 Night Walk, YB Puan Elizabeth Wong, Selangor State Executive Councillor for Tourism, Environment, Green Technology and Consumer Affairs praised MBPJ for their green initiatives. “During the Earth Hour Night Walk 2017, the city council announced its aim to increase the number of recycling centres to facilitate the demand and expand its functions to create a ‘4R’ gallery. The progress of these initiatives to-date was commendable with 3 recycling centres in Petaling Jaya with 2 centres in SS2 and SS8 having been equipped with a food waste treatment system. For 2017, 9,238 households or 9% have participated in the recycling programme,” said YB Puan Elizabeth Wong.
The co-organiser of the Earth Hour 2018 Night Walk in Petaling Jaya, Sunway Giza Mall, is a mall designed with sustainability in mind since it opened in 2009.
“The Founder and Chairman of Sunway Group, Tan Sri Dr Jeffrey Cheah, has always been an environmentally conscious person. In fact, Sunway is committed to the United Nation’s Sustainability Development Goals hence it is apt for us at Sunway Giza Mall to be hosting the Earth Hour Walk with WWF-Malaysia,” said Albert Cheok, Centre Manager of Sunway Giza Mall.
“We are glad to be a part of the Earth Hour initiative this year and we are pleased that our mall is chosen as the platform to reach out to the Kota Damansara community,” he added.
“As a leading corporation in the technology industry, Samsung’s on-going vision is to create a positive change and help its surrounding communities exist in a harmonious and ecological environment. Hence, by sending our employees to participate in the Earth Hour Night Walk, this will continue to build momentum towards a renewable future and sustainable lifestyle. We hope that our actions and partnership with WWF will set an example for all of our fans, consumers, and peers to take accountability for their ecological footprint and protect the planet,” said Kim Yoonsoo, President of Samsung Malaysia Electronics, Earth Hour 2018 corporate sponsor.
All night walk participants received a walk pack comprising a 100% cotton, eco-friendly Earth Hour 2018 T-Shirt and a medal made from recycled remnant wood. Proceeds from the sale of walk packs will be channelled to WWF-Malaysia’s conservation efforts. For more information on the Earth Hour 2018 Night Walks, please visit: www.pandashop.my/earthhour2018
Starting today, supporters can visit connect2earth.org to share what biodiversity and nature means to them in the places they live in and find out more about it. Created in partnership with the secretariat of the United Nations (UN) Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD), the platform aims 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.
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.
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About Earth Hour with Petaling Jaya City Council
In Petaling Jaya, Earth Hour 2018 was celebrated in partnership with Majlis Perbandaran Petaling Jaya (MBPJ) with a 2.5km Night Walk starting and ending at Sunway Giza Mall. The city council has committed to many sustainable initiatives, such as equipping each household in Petaling Jaya with a complimentary 120 litre-capacity rubbish bin, introducing an Assessment Tax Rebate Scheme for eco-friendly and low-carbon house owners since 2011, and providing a free bus service (PJ City Bus) MBPJ since May 2014.
About WWF’s Earth Hour
Grassroots movement: Started as a symbolic lights-out campaign in Sydney (Australia) in 2007, WWF’s Earth Hour has grown to become the world’s largest grassroots movement for the environment – largely focused on climate change – mobilising millions to take climate action in 187 countries and territories. Now in its eleventh year, Earth Hour has gone beyond the hour and achieved massive environmental impacts around the world by harnessing the power of the crowd. For the next 3 years, Earth Hour will focus on achieving CBD Aichi Target 1 which states that by 2020, at the latest, people are aware of the values of biodiversity and the steps they can take to conserve and use it sustainably.
WWF-Malaysia (World Wide Fund for Nature-Malaysia) was established in Malaysia in 1972. It currently runs more than 90 projects covering a diverse range of environmental conservation and protection work, from saving endangered species such as tigers and turtles, to protecting our highland forests, rivers and seas. The national conservation organisation also undertakes environmental education and advocacy work to achieve its conservation goals. Its 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 nation’s biological diversity, ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable, and promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption. For latest news and media resources, visit http://www.wwf.org.my/media_and_information/media_centre/
Link to Earth Hour’s 2018 music video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UZYiJLH2toY&feature=youtu.be
Link to photos of previous Earth Hour events and impacts: https://hive.panda.org/Share/wdv0o80b113lxo2s2s6mk5xi6qvn185j
To know more about WWF’s work on climate and biodiversity, please visit:
For more information, please contact:
Sheena Wong Sin-Yee
Interim Head of Communications, WWF-Malaysia
Tel: +603 7450 3773 Ext. 6412