MANILA (Philippine Daily Inquirer/Asia New Network): As the world continues to battle climate change and biodiversity loss, Filipinos from all walks of life are being urged to join the global Earth Hour 2023 celebration, which will mark the first in-person celebration in two years due to the pandemic.
The annual event, organised by World Wide Fund for Nature-Philippines (WWF-Philippines), will take place on March 25, from 8:30pm to 9:30pm, local time, and more than 150 countries worldwide will participate in this unique global grassroots movement for nature.
“We are happy to be making a comeback with in-person celebrations for Earth Hour this year. The best way to really send the message of protecting the environment and the planet is to be with people, talking to them face to face,” said Earth Hour Philippines national director Atty. Angela Consuelo Ibay.
The Philippines is among the countries most vulnerable to climate change, and extreme weather effects, such as stronger storms, intensified droughts, and extreme rainfall causing flooding, are already being felt, Ibay said.
“Further, we are a mega-biodiverse country but also a biodiversity hotspot with at least 700 threatened species. So conservation and preservation, including climate adaptation and mitigation, are key measures,” she said.
Switching off lights for one hour during Earth Hour may seem like a small act, but when millions of people do it, it adds up to significant energy savings. Ibay explained that the switch-off is just the first step in raising awareness of our individual roles in protecting the environment.
Earth Hour 2023 will feature performances from various artists and will be hosted by WWF-Philippines ambassadors Mikee Cojuangco-Jaworski, Karen Ibasco, and Janine Gutierrez. Prior to the ceremonial switch-off, there will be a sustainability fair for partner non-government organisations and social enterprises.
Various government offices, such as the Department of Energy, Climate Change Commission, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, and the Department of Agriculture, are supporting the event, as are many private organisations.