PENANG will once again host Earth Hour 2019, a keystone event by World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).
The event will take place on March 30 from 8.30pm to 9.30pm at Gurney Paragon Mall, Penang.
Earth Hour was started in Sydney, Australia, in 2007 to create awareness across the globe about climate change and sustainability issues.
Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said Penang aspired to be the “greenest” state in Malaysia by 2030.
“For us to achieve that, we must strike a balance between development and sustainable practices,” he said during a press conference in Komtar recently.
He said a substantial supply of Penang’s water comes from Sungai Muda, which originates from Ulu Muda Forest Complex in Kedah.
“This forest complex not only provides an array of ecosystem services such as water which is crucial for our daily lives.
“It is also one of the last strongholds of biodiversity in northern peninsular Malaysia,” Chow said adding that it is everyone’s responsibility to make sure that the forest complex is protected.
However, he said based on the current trend of high-water consumption, it had become more apparent that Sungai Muda could only meet Penang’s water demand until 2020.
“I hope that fellow Penangites will take this opportunity to find out more on where our water comes from and why it is important to protect the Ulu Muda Forest Complex for the greater benefit of this nation,” he said.
WWF Malaysia conservation director Henry Chan said the forest complex which spans over 160,000 hectares comprises seven forest reserves and is a crucial water catchment forest for Kedah, Penang and Perlis.
He added that Ulu Muda is a biodiversity hotspot as it is home to at least 112 species of mammals including the Asian elephant, the Malayan tapir, the Malayan sun bear and the rare plain-pouched hornbill.
“To ensure the conservation of biodiversity, to protect the forest and its vital ecosystem services, as well as improved management of the forest, WWF is advocating for the forest complex to be reclassified as a water catchment forest and to be established as a state park,” Chan said, adding that the Earth Hour event will be held exclusively in George Town and Alor Setar to reflect the importance of the forest complex for the people here.
With a participation fee of RM65, the public can join the event at Gurney Paragon Mall, Penang, by participating in a Zumba session followed by a night yoga.
Participants will receive an unbleached WWF cotton T-shirt as well as a canvas drawstring bag.
All registration proceeds will be channelled to WWF-Malaysia’s conservation effort. For details, log on to wwf.org.my/earthhour.
Also present at the press conference were state Tourism Development, Heritage, Culture and Arts Committee chairman Yeoh Soon Hin, state Welfare, Caring Society and Environment Committee chairman Phee Boon Poh and Jawi assemblyman H’ng Mooi Lye.
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