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.
At its second Earth Hour Night Walk in Melaka, the Melaka State Executive Councillor (EXCO) of Education, Higher Education, Science and Technology, Green Technology and Innovation, YB Datuk Seri Hj Md Yunos bin Hussin said, “Earth Hour reminds us how important it is to conserve our natural environment and resources. Among Melaka’s many green initiatives are to propagate green technology and promote cycling as well as to plant 10,000 native species trees within the city each year to reduce carbon emission.”
“In line with the new Earth Hour theme, WWF-Malaysia will continue to support conservation efforts to protect hawksbill turtles with Melaka Historic City Council (MBMB) and Department of Fisheries, Melaka. Marine turtles play important roles in the ocean by maintaining healthy habitats for marine life and keeping a balance in the marine food web. If we do not start to recognise and appreciate the values that turtles provide to us, the remaining turtle populations will be in danger due to climate change and other threats. Marine turtles like the hawksbills in Melaka are a national heritage. Therefore, I urge Malaysians to take a personal stance on protecting our biodiversity through learning about simple actions that can be taken in combating climate change. Our planet needs our help. Save our heritage, save our Earth!” added YB Datuk Seri Hj Md Yunos bin Hussin.
Melaka Historic City Council joins the municipal councils of Alor Gajah, Hang Tuah Jaya and Jasin to participate in WWF’s One Planet City Challenge (OPCC) in 2017, making Melaka the first state in Malaysia to be a fully OPCC registered state. YBhg Dato’ Dr Dionysius Sharma, Executive Director/CEO of WWF-Malaysia also commended Melaka’s many green initiatives and recognition of the importance to conserve biodiversity, including marine turtles, as a national heritage. “WWF-Malaysia sincerely thanks the Melaka state government and Melaka Historic City Council for their valuable support,” said YBhg Dato’ Dr Dionysius Sharma.
“Earth Hour is a unique opportunity to engage millions of people and raise awareness about biodiversity, therefore WWF-Malaysia’s overall objective for Earth Hour from 2018 to 2020 is to help achieve the UN Convention on Biological Diversity’s Aichi Biodiversity Target 1, so that people understand the values of biodiversity and the current condition of our planet. Through research and science, we know that our actions – and ecosystems – are interconnected. Actions we take today, such as planting a tree, will truly have an impact. We hope that the Earth Hour 2018 Night Walk would serve as a timely reminder for Malaysians to be better informed and aware on environmental issues and challenges unique to Malaysia, and hopefully inspire sustainable change,” WWF-Malaysia’s Executive Director/ CEO concluded the event on a positive note.
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.
- End -
About Earth Hour with Melaka Historic City Council
In Melaka, Earth Hour 2018 was celebrated together with Majlis Perbandaran Melaka Bersejarah (MBMB) with a Night Walk for the second time with a 2.6km route starting and ending at Memorial Kemerdekaan. The Melaka city and its three municipal councils, namely Alor Gajah, Hang Tuah Jaya and Jasin have participated in One Planet City Challenge (OPCC) in 2017, making Melaka the first state in Malaysia to be a fully OPCC registered state.
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