2017 Earth Hour seeks more youth climate action

MANILA — This year’s Earth Hour celebration on Saturday aims to further promote youth participation in efforts to address climate change.

Earth Hour’s parent organization, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), believes youth participation is essential to the campaign against climate change, as today’s youngsters will be tomorrow’s leaders.

“We want our youth to be increasingly aware of climate change and be active in helping address this problem,” said WWF Philippines officer Lisa Diciembre.

Switching off lights during Earth Hour is a way of making the youth aware of the need to reduce the emission of carbon dioxide, which is among the climate change-driving greenhouse gases, she noted.

Earth Hour is the world’s largest demonstration of support for action on climate change.

Switching off lights during Earth Hour aims to demonstrate to leaders worldwide the public’s clamor for international action on climate change.

“Earth Hour has grown in the past decade from a symbolic switch-off event in Sydney, Australia to the world’s largest open-sourced environmental campaign, catalyzing environmental and social projects with tangible outcomes while mobilizing hundreds of millions of people in over 7,000 cities and 176 countries,” WWF said.

For this year’s Earth Hour, WWF set 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. as the time for the voluntary switch-off of lights.

2017 is the tenth year of Earth Hour.

WWF said in the Philippines, Earth Hour’s main switch-off event will be at the Mall of Asia (MOA) complex in Metro Manila.

Before the switch-off, an Earth Hour program will be held at the MOA, during which the public will hear WWF Philippines’ official song and meet its newest youth ambassadors.

An Earth Hour camp, to be led by the WWF’s National Youth Council, will likewise commence at 4:30 p.m. in the same venue.

Diciembre said the interactive camp will feature several booths where WWF personnel will entertain queries about Earth Hour, climate change and related matters.

“The camp will be open to the public for free,” she said, adding that WWF is encouraging the youth to join to the activity to learn more about climate change and its ill effects.

According to experts, the increasing onslaught of weather extremes, and the rise in sea levels and temperature are impacts of climate change.

They said the Philippines is among the countries most vulnerable to climate change.

“The Philippines absorbs some of the world’s most violent typhoons, and has had to adapt to climate change earlier than most countries, yet is home to a resilient and cheerful people who have been championing Earth Hour since 2008,” said WWF.

The WWF lauded the Philippines for topping global participation records from 2009 to 2012, emerging as Earth Hour Hero Country.

“Through the support of the Department of the Interior and Local Government, leagues of municipalities, cities and provinces, the Metro Manila Development Authority and other government partners, Earth Hour in the Philippines has always been a success, with each year witnessing a growing multi-sectoral support system, proving that more and more Filipinos believe in the message of Earth Hour,” said WWF.

The Filipinos’ ‘bayanihan’ spirit helps make the Philippines’ observance of Earth Hour successful, WWF added. Catherine Teves/PNA-northboundasia.com