Australia was the first country to have taken part in the Earth Hour event on 30 March.
India’s theme this year ‘Bee4ThePlanet’ focussed on the rapidly declining wildlife population over the last few decades. It aims to encourage people to pledge their support for the cause of biodiversity conservation by helping reduce plastic pollution, paper, and water wastage. Like a swarm of bees, the call was and is for India to come together and create a buzz for nature and to Take the #Bee4ThePlanet Challenge.
The iconic Rashtrapati Bhavan, India Gate, Victoria Terminus, Akshardham temple, Charminar and other world-famous Indian landmarks switched off their lights to promote action towards reducing ecological footprints and adopting sustainable development. Delhi alone reported a savings of 279 MW.
So why should Indians ‘Buzz to Give Up’?
• Bees, other pollinators and soil are critical for food security.
• More than 75% of leading global food crops benefit from pollination.
• In India, only 0.8% of the bee colonies required to pollinate our agriculture land currently exist.
• Buzz like a bee for as long as you can, record it and upload it on social media.
• Use #Bee4ThePlanet and challenge five friends to do the same
The World Wide Fund for Nature’s ‘Living Planet’ report in October said that 60 per cent of all animals with a backbone — fish, birds, amphibians, reptiles and mammals — had been wiped out by human activity since 1970.It suggests that India’s ecological footprint per person is less than 1.75 global hectares/person (which is the lowest bracket and is smaller than that of many large countries). India’s high population levels make it likely that the country would face a widening ecological deficit if current per-capita levels of resource consumption remain the same.
Across the globe: Starting as a symbolic lights out event in Sydney in 2007, Earth Hour is now the world’s largest grassroots movement for the environment, inspiring millions of people to take action for our planet and nature.
Through Earth Hour’s mainstream appeal #Connect2Earth, the voices of many millions of people around the world will be needed to push nature up the global agenda. People can speak up for the planet by pledging their support on Voice for the Planet calling on world leaders to agree a New Deal for Nature and People. The petition will be presented at the UN Convention on Biological Diversity COP in 2020, when a new set of global targets on nature will be agreed upon by governments.
Australia was the first country to have taken part in the Earth Hour event on 30 March. The Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge were plunged into darkness for an hour on Saturday to raise awareness about climate change and its impact on the planet’s vanishing biodiversity.
The Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the Eiffel Tower in Paris, Egypt’s Great Pyramid, New York’s Empire State Building, the Shanghai Tower and the Christ the Redeemer monument in Brazil followed. Other major landmarks in the UAE also went dark for an hour, and hundreds of residents took part in a walkathon and lit candles. The demand drop recorded by Cebu in the Philippines was 3.6 megawatts (MW) – almost one MW higher than the 2.695 MW demand drop in 2018.
This global switch-off was in solidarity for the planet, to raise the awareness about the importance of nature and encourage individuals, businesses and governments worldwide to be a part of the solutions needed to build a healthy, sustainable future – and planet – for all. This year countries are also coming together to highlight and invite action on the environmental issues most relevant to them.
Ecuador, for example, is pushing for a no-plastic law in the capital Quito, and Finland will be challenging over a quarter of the country’s population to eat a more balanced and better diet. Morocco will educate people on the importance of saving water and making every drop count. Indonesia is encouraging 5 million young people to adopt a greener lifestyle. The hundreds of initiatives around the world will inspire awareness and action on the importance of nature and if we act now, together, we have the opportunity to protect and improve our way of life.
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