Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar: On Saturday 8:30p.m local time, WWF-Pakistan joined 184 nations around the world in celebrations marking the tenth edition of Earth hour—the movement’s biggest edition yet—in a global moment of solidarity for climate change. Landmarks across the country switched off their lights and joined WWF-Pakistan’s call to stand with millions of people shining a light on a climate change.
In accordance with the true spirit of the event, lights of all important buildings in the federal capital were dimmed at 8:30p.m. These included the Parliament house building, the Supreme Court of Pakistan, Election Commission of Pakistan, Cabinet division building, Convention centre, the Pakistan monument; Damn e Koh; Constituion avenue; Jinnah avenue; 7th avenue and 9th Avenue; and Faisal Mosque, providing a powerful visual backdrop in support of Earth Hour 2017.
Speaking on the occasion Rab Nawaz, Senior Director programmes, WWF-Pakistan , said that, “Local efforts such as Earth Hour being celebrated in the Parliament house building shows our united commitment to being good stewards of our environment. It’s up to us to maintain the momentum for action against climate change. The federal government and all provincial governments; cities; corporate and the people of Pakistan now need to pick up the mantle of leadership on climate change. It’s a now or never type of a situation for us.”
Leaders and officials present on the occasion showing support included, Marriyum Aurangzeb, Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting; Syed Abu Ahmad Akif, Secretary, Ministry of Climate change; Nasir Mehmood Afzal, Director, Bestway cement limited(BCL); Nasir Mehmood Raja, Senior court associate; Nazir Sabir, globally renowned mountaineer; and Imran Ashraf, Development advisor, European Union, along with other foreign dignitaries. BCL showed its commitment of going beyond the hour and collaborate with WWF-Pakistan in planting 3000 indigenous tree saplings in Islamabad, Taxila and Hattar.
Hammad Naqi Khan, Director General WWF-Pakistan , in his message for Earth Hour 2017 optimistically mentioned that the country has embraced the true essence of the movement. “We have come a long way since 2010, when WWF-Pakistan first celebrated Earth Hour . The seed we sowed has taken root and the masses today are comparatively well-aware of the climatic changes around us. If we take a look into our past we would understand that movements have shaped our lives—movements matter— and the Earth hour movement will shape our future. It is a constant reminder that we should lead towards the transformation of a more prosperous and renewable future.”
In Karachi, WWF-Pakistan in collaboration with Engro Foundation, Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC), K-Electric and Crescent Steel observed Earth Hour at Frere Hall. Participants of the event included, Wasim Akhtar, Mayor Karachi; Shaikh Muhammad Afzal, Former Environment Minister; Naeem Ahmed Mughal, DG Sindh Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA); and other senior officials of organisations partnering with WWF-Pakistan .
Speaking on the occasion, Mayor Karachi Wasim Akhtar said that it is high time to act against adverse impacts of climate change and promote alternative energy options in country.
He said that although Earth is facing serious climate change threats including sea level rise, increase in temperature, melting of glaciers, heavy floods and widespread rainfalls but these could be addressed if industrialized countries take practical measures for reducing greenhouse gases and adapt environmental sustainable practices. He urged that there is also need to take efforts for conservation of water and energy resources at local level.
In Peshawar, WWF-Pakistan’s goodwill ambassadors, Khumariyaan the band, took the opportunity to spread awareness about climate change in an event organised at the Ladies Club, university town, by the City District Government, Peshawar. They engaged the audience with Earth Hour messages in an impactful and meaningful way.
In Lahore, WWF-Pakistan in collaboration with Emporium Mall celebrated Earth Hour with amongst hundreds of participants. Ahmed Khan, Head of Marketing and leasing Emporium Mall said that “In line with the best sustainable practices, Emporium Mall Lahore, is pleased to celebrate Earth Hour 2017 with WWF-Pakistan . The mall has considered a wide range of sustainability features to reduce its environmental impacts something which resonates well with WWF-Pakistan’s mission.”
As part of Earth Hour , people, cities and businesses around the world switched off their lights for one hour to draw attention to the urgent need to step up our fight against climate change. With the historic Paris Agreement on climate change now in full force, there’s never been a more crucial time to hold leaders accountable and show strong public support for efforts to stem climate change. From the Eiffel Tower to Taipei 101 and the Empire State Building to the Acropolis, thousands of landmarks switched off their lights in solidarity as individuals, communities and organisations worldwide delivered on their potential to help change climate change, the planet’s biggest environmental challenge yet.
2017 marks the tenth anniversary of Earth Hour which started as a symbolic event in Sydney in 2007. Today, it is the world’s largest grassroots movement for the environment, ensuring that people who are on the frontlines of climate change, are also empowered to be the planet’s first line of defense. The one-hour event continues to remain the key driver of the movement encouraging individuals, communities, households and businesses to turn off non-essential lights as a symbol for their commitment to the planet.
About Earth Hour
Earth Hour is WWF's global environmental movement. Born in Sydney in 2007, Earth Hour has grown to become the world's largest grassroots movement for the environment, inspiring individuals, communities, businesses and organizations in more than 170 countries and territories to take tangible climate action for over a decade. The movement recognizes the role of individuals in changing climate change and harnesses the collective power of its millions of supporters to shine a light on climate action.
About WWF-Pakistan : WWF-Pakistan was formed in 1970 to address the growing environmental and conservation issues in Pakistan that not only affected the flora and fauna, but were also affecting the human population. WWF-Pakistan is a non-profit organization, working to preserve, conserve and save our environment and natural resources. Today, WWF -Pakistan works through 26 offices with a team of almost 250 dedicated staff members. With its head office in Lahore, and five regional offices in major cities of Pakistan, it has project offices wherever there is a need and the potential to make a difference.