Earth Hour (EH) is officially in the teen years. March 28, 2020 marked thirteen years since the first lights out event occurred in Sydney, Australia. Started by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and its partners as a symbolic lights-out event, Earth Hour is now one of the world’s largest grassroots movements for the environment, engaging millions of people in more than 180 countries and territories.
Earth Hour is coordinated in Guyana by the WWF and the Guyana Youth and Environment Network, with support from the Environmental Protection Agency and the University of Guyana, among others. Over the past two years, the Office of Climate Change has come on board to assist in coordinating EH activities in Linden and Bartica, taking the message of people power for environmental protection to other parts of the country. In addition to a ‘Lights out Concert’ held on the last Saturday in March, Earth Hour activities have also come to encompass outreaches to schools, and activities for the public, including seminars and exhibitions at the University of Guyana.
This year’s theme for Earth Hour calls attention to climate change and adding our voices for the planet. Scientists agree that we are the first generation to know that we are destroying our planet, and we could be the last to do anything about it.
On the international front, in 2020, world leaders will come together during key global conferences and forums (Conference on Biodiversity COP 15, UNFCCC COP 26, and UN High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development) to set the environmental agenda for the next decade and beyond. During these conferences, decisions will be made that would affect our future and that of the planet for many years to come.
Celebrating Earth Hour amidst COVID-19
This year, we are facing Earth Hour in exceptional circumstances, with countries around the world experiencing a health crisis with the outbreak of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). Given this dire situation, Earth Hour will be celebrated digitally. You can still participate, by turning off all your non-essential lights for one hour from 20:30h (8:30 pm). Given the need for social distancing and protecting each other from contracting COVID-19, we recommend that you:
* Tune in online to one of WWF live streams
* Make your voice heard digitally
* Share your on-the-night EH experiences
* Participate in EH online challenges and contests
* Learn more about the issues and solutions
* Remember a clean and healthy environment is not only for the present situation, but should be a lifestyle; and
* Learn how to live more sustainably; avoid wastage and excessive use.
You can share your ideas and questions by sending letters to: The Environmental Protection Agency, c/o Communications Department, Ganges Street, Sophia, GEORGETOWN; or email us at: [email protected] or follow us on Facebook, Instagram and You Tube.