Earth Hours Lights Off Set On March 24

It is that time of the year a to rekindle peoples role as stewards of the environment and to "connect to earth," as the annual Earth Hour campaign declares: the symbolic lights off event is set on March 24.

According to Earth Hour-Philippines national director and World Wide Fund for Nature-Philippines (WWF) Climate and Energy Program head Gia Ibay, this years celebration of Earth Hour is extra significant as it marks the 10th anniversary of the campaign, which has been "growing year on year since it started in 2007."

This year, the official hour-long switch-off campaign will be centered at the Cultural Center of the Philippines grounds at 8:30 p.m. on March 24.

With the theme #Connect2Earth, Ibay called for the urgent need to care for the planets biodiversity.

"This year, we are shifting to a different focus, which is biodiversity. Biodiversity loss is a big part of the challenges that the world is now facing and we want people to connect to earth. The focus of connecting that is to start conversations on how they can conserve and preserve our own biodiversity," she added.

Ibay highlighted that the Philippines is one of the 17 megadiverse countries that house 70 percent of the earths biological resources.

Of the 52,177 described species worldwide, 50 percent are endemic to the Philippines.

Earth Hour aims to raise awareness on the crucial importance of biodiversity as a viable resource link that families, communities, nations, and future generations all depend upon.

Understanding this interconnectedness is key in solving the earths most pressing challenges, WWF pointed out.

"Collectively, we must now look deeper and see how our water, food and energy consumption is endangering our planets biodiversity," WWF-Philippines president and CEO Joel Palma said.

Over the years, Filipinos have embraced Earth Hour, inspiring climate action within our government, communities, businesses and organizations, Palma added.

Ibay pointed out that "beyond the hour," initiatives have inspired national advocacies pushing for low-carbon cities, renewable energy development, sustainable food production and consumption, forest and water conservation, and wildlife protection for endangered tamaraws, whale sharks and Irrawaddy dolphins, among others.

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