Pakistan’s 11th Earth Hour will be held from 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm, today.
Earth Hour is a worldwide event started by the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF) to encourage individuals, communities, households, and businesses to turn off all non-essential lights as a symbol of their commitment to a sustainable future of the planet.
It started as a lights-off event in Sydney, Australia, in 2007. Since then, it has grown to encompass more than 170 countries around the world. In 2015, more than 1,200 landmarks and close to 40 UNESCO world heritage sites turned their lights off for the event.
WWF-Pakistan has called for extensive participation from media, key opinion leaders, federal and provincial governments, private entities, as well as schools, colleges, and universities. This year, it has organized multiple events at the grassroot level which will lead up to the main event at the National Assembly premises in Islamabad.
As part of Earth Hour 2018, WWF-Pakistan has partnered with some businesses for a mangrove plantation campaign in Karachi to work towards greater climate resilience. About 300 saplings have been planted at WWF-Pakistan’s Wetlands Center, Sandspit, marking the launch of the plantation drive. By March 24, about 27,000 saplings will be planted along the beach.
A separate tree plantation campaign is also underway across the country. WWF-Pakistan has partnered with a multinational beverages company to plant 22,000 indigenous trees in various locations across the country.
This year, WWF has urged citizens across the globe to make a three-step pledge for the planet: i) switch off extra lights to save energy; ii) plant an indigenous tree, which is the first line of defense against climate change; and, iii) say no to single use plastic bags. They are hazardous for health, and they contaminate the food chain and threaten wildlife and the environment.
Last year, lights at 40 landmark buildings in Karachi, including the Chief Minister’s House, Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s mausoleum, Karachi Airport, and Expo Center were turned off to observe the Earth Hour. In addition, over 60 educational institutions and 73 retail outlets took part in Earth Hour activities in the country.