Earth Hour, the world’s largest grassroots movement for the environment, is set to unite millions of people once again around the world to show their commitment to the planet.
As societies continue to adapt their lives to the impacts of COVID-19 and the catastrophic events of the past two years, Earth Hour 2022, starting at 8:30 pm on Saturday 26th March, aims to signal the end of “business as usual” and herald a new era that puts people and the planet first.
Taking place at a particularly crucial time, this year’s Earth Hour invites people around the world to take a stand and signal their support for a nature-positive future. With 73 per cent of people in G20 countries agreeing that the Earth is approaching potentially abrupt or irreversible ‘tipping points’ because of human action, awareness about nature loss and climate change is at a high. But environmentalists say that while both public and political leaders share concern, the most difficult transformation is yet to happen.
On 26th March, individuals and groups are expected to switch off all electrical appliances including bulbs to conserve energy for one hour, while using torchlight momentarily. They are expected to record the activity and post on the social media while using relevant hashtags such as #SaveEarth, #EarthHour. They could also have discussions between and among themselves on the importance of conserving the earth.
Later in the year, world leaders will gather for the second part of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity COP15 and decide on a new global action plan for nature, making 2022 a once-in-a-decade opportunity to create a biodiversity framework which halts and reverses nature loss for generations to come.
‘It might only be one hour, but such a collective effort will no doubt cause ripple effects in our efforts towards a nature-positive future’, according to the Regional Director of World Wildlife Fund (WWF) for Africa, Alice Ruhweza. ‘Without action, the world will see $10 trillion wiped off the global economy over the next 30 years, with developing countries and regions particularly affected. It’s time to act now. Nature is our green gold, and it is everyone’s business’.
In the words of Director General of the Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF), Dr Muhtari Aminu-Kano, ‘the rate of devastation of environment is alarming. I am however excited at the number of messages we keep pushing out, the level of awareness among the people. Earth Hour is one of such opportunities created to draw attention to the state of ecosystem, unhealthy environment, and the need to take drastic steps in salvaging the situation. This is everybody’s concern’.
Since its inception in 2007, Earth Hour has inspired global initiatives for the protection of nature, climate, and the environment, helping drive awareness, action and policy change. Highlights of the movement include helping in the creation of a 3.4 million hectares protected marine area in Argentina, a 2,700-hectare Earth Hour forest in Uganda, securing new legislation for the protection of seas and forests in Russia, pushing for a ban on single-use plastics and Styrofoam products in the Ecuadorian capital, and initiating the planting of 20,000 mangrove seedlings in 13 cities in Indonesia.
The project partners – WWF and NCF – encourage everyone to switch of lights to stand united for each other and the one home we all share. Saving the earth together is everybody’s business.