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Earth Hour seeks to shine spotlight on health of planet

By Maria Weldali - Mar 28,2021 - Last updated at Mar 28,2021

AMMAN — Amidst the COVID pandemic, the annual Earth Hour event introduces the first-ever “Virtual Spotlight”, putting nature at the centre of international conversations by switching off lights.

Earth Hour, which is held every year on the last Saturday of March at 8:30pm, was first launched by World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and its partners in Sydney in 2007, according to the Earth Hour website.

Earth Hour goes far beyond the symbolic action of switching off lights, according to the website. “This event has become a catalyst for positive environmental impact, driving major legislative changes by harnessing the power of the people and collective action,” it said.

Placing spotlight on earth, this year’s Earth Hour will shine a spotlight on the health of the planet and reveal the relationship between nature loss and the rise of pandemics, in addition to “providing a message of hope and how we can overcome our planetary crisis by applying the same lessons we’ve learned during the COVID-19 pandemic,” according to a Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature (RSCN) statement sent to The Jordan Times.

“This year presents an unmissable opportunity for change,” according to the Earth Hour website. 

In 2021, world leaders will come together during key global conferences and forums to set the environmental agenda for the next decade and beyond, in addition to making crucial political decisions on climate action and sustainable development, according to the website.

“Everything would be better when people live in harmony with nature,” according to the website.

“The risk of future pandemics will only increase unless we fix our broken relationship with nature,” according to Earth Hour organisers.

‘’Whether it is a decline in pollinators, fewer fish in the ocean and rivers, disappearing forests or the wider loss of biodiversity, the evidence is mounting that nature is in free fall. And this is because of the way we live our lives and run our economies. Protecting nature is our moral responsibility but losing it also increases our vulnerability to pandemics, accelerates climate change, and threatens our food security,” Marco Lambertini, director general of WWF International, was quoted as saying in a statement posted on the WWF website.

Many iconic landmarks including the Eiffel Tower, Tokyo Skytree, Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour, Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, the Colosseum in Rome, Rova of Antananarivo in Madagascar, Sydney Opera House, switched off their lights in a symbolic gesture of support on the night of Earth Hour. 


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