PHNOM PENH, March 26 (Xinhua): More than 1,000 people took part in an Earth Hour event in the capital of Cambodia on Saturday evening, honoring their light-out moment to show their commitment to green efforts.
Some public entities, communities, businesses and individuals also showed their commitment by switching off their lights in buildings, offices and households at the same time.
Jointly organized by the Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Commerce, World Wide Fund for Nature Cambodia (WWF) and Factory Phnom Penh, the event was designed to encourage people to turn off all lights and electrical appliances at their homes and offices for an hour to promote awareness of climate change challenges and energy conservation.
"As citizens of the Earth, we are thankful to this planet for providing the oxygen to breathe, water to drink, and food to eat, pollination of plants, protection from extreme weather events, and much more vital to human's life support system," Ministry of Environment's Secretary of State Neth Pheaktra said in a statement. "Our reliance on the Earth also means that we are interconnected with the Earth."
Pheaktra said it was critical now more than ever for people to give back to nature from daily doable practices like reducing, reusing, recycling, and saying-no to the consumption of wild meat and wildlife products.
"We must reduce negative impact on the natural environment ... and invest in renewable energy alternatives to help protect Cambodia's biodiversity and ecosystems," he said.
Ministry of Tourism's Secretary of State Top Sopheak said that doing business as usual is no longer sufficient, but efforts must be stepped up.
"Public health, social inclusion and biodiversity conservation are among critical components for Cambodia and societies around the world to adopt for a resilient recovery," he said. "Responsible tourism practices can help tourism companies and communities build back better."
WWF-Cambodia country director Seng Teak said nature is people's best ally to counteract the effects of climate change and to create a sustainable future because nature and biodiversity make life possible, and provide health and socioeconomic benefits.
"Restoring nature and biodiversity loss offers a win-win solution to save our environment and people's wellbeing," he said.
It is the 14th Earth Hour the South-East Asian nation has celebrated. - Xinhua