EDITORIAL - Let nature shine

EDITORIAL - Let nature shine

(The Philippine Star) - March 24, 2018 - 12:00am

Global participation has grown exponentially since the first Earth Hour was held in Sydney, Australia in 2007. Tonight more Filipinos are expected to switch off non-essential lights for an hour starting 8:30 p.m. in observance of the 11th Earth Hour.

The movement now counts participants from more than 7,000 cities and 180 countries and territories. While the global switch-off saves a significant amount of electricity, the main objective of the event is to raise public awareness of the need to save the planet from further environmental degradation.

Equally important, as this year’s event again aims to emphasize, is what people can do beyond Earth Hour to protect the environment. With the World Wide Fund for Nature as the principal sponsor, previous initiatives beyond Earth Hour in the Philippines have included the replacement of dirty and dangerous kerosene lamps with portable solar lamps in Palawan and Mindoro, and the sharing of best practices for communities under the One Planet City Challenge. Lectures, training modules, education sessions and engagements with media on environmental issues have also been conducted.

This year’s Earth Hour seeks to strengthen awareness on the risks posed to biodiversity by climate change. With this year’s theme, “let nature shine,” Earth Hour 2018 aims to highlight the consequences of the loss of nature. Global warming endangers food and freshwater supplies, public health and livelihoods. Coral bleaching has destroyed half of the planet’s reefs in the past three decades, endangering marine resources. Deforestation has led to killer floods and mudslides.

The Philippines has been consistently ranked as one of the countries most vulnerable to climate change. The country has a bigger stake in going beyond Earth Hour in implementing measures to protect the planet.

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