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Earth Hour observed at 65 landmarks across Karachi

Earth Hour observed at 65 landmarks across Karachi

KARACHI: It was lights out at Frere Hall and some 64 other major landmarks all over the city at 8.30pm sharp as World Wide Fund (WWF) for Nature observed Earth Hour here on Saturday evening.

Buildings across Pakistan together with over 10,000 landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower in Paris and the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco turned off their lights. One second everything was lit up and bright and the next instant darkness took over. That was when we, the inhabitants of Mother Earth, stared back at our own shadows to reflect on what we have been doing to protect nature here.

With the lights switched off even minimal light from any other source such as mobile phones, candles and the clay lamps placed in formation of the number 60, signifying the minutes in one hour, stood out more. Even the cricket match being shown on the big screen on one side seemed more clear and prominent (if that was even possible) in the dark, even though the sound was turned off.

Started in 2007 from Sydney, Australia, Earth Hour has grown into a global movement today engaging more than 7,000 cities and towns where people turn off all non-essential lights for one hour, from 8.30pm to 9.30pm.

Speaking at Frere Hall, on the occasion, Minister for Environment and Coastal Development Dr Sikandar Mandhro stated that Earth is facing serious climate change impacts including sea level rise, increase in temperature, melting of glaciers, heavy floods and widespread rainfalls. As time goes by, there are signs that our planet is being used beyond its capacity. He urged that we should stand shoulder to shoulder with other countries across the globe in this movement to protect the planet from adverse impacts of climate change. “Earth Hour is a rallying call for all to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions to change climate change,” he added.

Senior Director, Biodiversity, WWF-Pakistan, Rab Nawaz, said Pakistan is among the top 10 countries affected by climate change and this environmental challenge is already severely impacting our economy. “On this Earth Hour, by joining WWF millions of people around the world have shown their commitment for the planet. Switching off all unnecessary lights for one hour on Saturday is a symbolic gesture. All of us should pledge to take action in our capacity as an individual, business and policy and decision maker to reduce our footprint, save nature and protect the environment,” he said.

The day and time for observing Earth Hour is once annually, around the time of the spring equinox in the Earth’s northern hemisphere and autumn equinox in the southern hemisphere when the sun has set at the same time.

As more and more people are drawn towards this exercise as awareness about it spreads, the global lights out event causes a greater visual impact each year. This year’s Earth Hour was celebrated only months after 195 countries had agreed on a new global climate deal in December 2015, in Paris, France.

Published in Dawn, March 20th, 2016

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