Essay On Earth Hour Malaysia

AsianScientist (Mar. 19, 2016) – World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF)’s Earth Hour will roll across the globe today, Saturday, March 19 2016 at 8:30 p.m. local time, uniting individuals, communities and organizations in an unprecedented 178 countries and territories. Earth Hour is a global moment of solidarity for climate action, and comes only months after governments agreed a new global climate deal.

As all non-essential lights in homes, offices and landmarks are turned off, the world’s largest grassroots movement for the environment will bring together millions of people to shine a light on climate action and the role people can play in global efforts to change climate change.

Tonight, more than 350 of the world’s most iconic landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower, the Empire State Building, Taipei 101 and the Sydney Opera House will switch off their lights. Individuals will also lend their voice to the planet through Earth Hour’s ongoing social media campaign.

To date in 2016, Earth Hour has powered more than 530,000 individual actions taken to help change climate change. Whether it is rallying individuals to participate in reforestation efforts in Indonesia or promoting a switch to renewables in India, WWF and Earth Hour teams across six continents are mobilizing public action on climate change in the lead-up to the hour and throughout the year.

Siddarth Das, executive director of Earth Hour Global, tells Asian Scientist Magazine about the history of Earth Hour; the impact the team hopes to achieve; and how to do your bit for the Earth.

  1. How and where did Earth Hour start?

    WWF’s Earth Hour started in Sydney in 2007 as an idea to unite Sydney-siders to deliver a firm message that climate change was an issue they cared about. Today, the movement has grown to 178 countries and territories evolving into the world’s largest grassroots movement for the environment and becoming the force behind tangible environmental outcomes led by WWF teams around the world.

    In Asia, these include providing solar power to off-grid communities in India and the Philippines and giving out fuel-efficient stoves in Nepal.

  2. In the aftermath of the Paris climate talks, will there be anything different or special about Earth Hour 2016?

    2015 was the year 195 countries came together to work against climate change at the historic summit in Paris. It was also the hottest year on record. With the world at a climate crossroads, Earth Hour 2016 is our time to shine a light on climate action and build the foundation for a better future for our planet and future generations.

    For the first time ever, supporters can take a stand and show their commitment to the cause of climate action in the digital space. By using their Facebook timeline to raise awareness, supporters are being invited to ‘Donate Your Social Power’ in just a few clicks.

    As such, while homes, cities and landmarks switch off for the hour, creating the powerful visual impact of previous years, the virtual world will also see its own equivalent of Earth Hour uniting people behind computers, mobile phones and tablets, regardless of where they may be, around the common cause of climate action.

    In addition, the WWF team in India is also using Earth Hour to bridge the gap between policy and grassroots. They are seeking to replicate Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ambitious International Alliance for Solar Power at the grassroots and make renewable energy a reality for homes and offices.

  3. What is the message that you hope to impart with Earth Hour?

    Earth Hour reminds us that while people are on the front lines of climate change, they are also our first line of defence. Our actions today, as individuals and the global community, have the power to transform what the world will look like for generations to come—this is our time to change climate change, and it starts with each of us.

    This year for Earth Hour 2016, WWF teams in Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia have joined forces to shine a light on protecting peatland forests, the burning of which not only contributes to region’s recurring haze crisis but also the release of massive amounts of greenhouse gas emissions.

    Running a three-pronged approach, the teams will work simultaneously with policymakers in Indonesia, businesses headquartered in Singapore and civil societies across the three countries to promote awareness on the role of peatlands in changing climate change and the importance of sustainable palm oil practices in preventing haze pollution and deforestation.

  4. How may companies and individuals participate?

    There are many ways to participate and join the Earth Hour movement. You can change your profile picture for today, in support of the cause; switch off the lights in your homes and offices; attend an Earth Hour event; go for an outdoor picnic or sustainable dinner; or watch the landmarks switch off with your friends and family.

    In Singapore, you can attend WWF-Singapore’s event at the Float @ Marina Bay and partake in the fun and festivities including an eco-carnival, concert and a chance to be in the Guinness Book of World Records if you join the attempt to have the world’s largest collective gathering in a yoga tree pose. Visit the Earth Hour website to see what’s happening in an area near you, and also to find out more about how you can get involved in our movement to #ChangeClimateChange.



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Source: Earth Hour; Photos: Earth Hour/Diego Añazco, WWF Ecuador.
Disclaimer: This article does not necessarily reflect the views of AsianScientist or its staff.

Nurfilzah Rohaidi

Coming from a design background, Filzah brings a fresh perspective to science communications. She is particularly interested in healthcare and technology.

Coming from a design background, Filzah brings a fresh perspective to science communications. She is particularly interested in healthcare and technology.

"Every Hour is Earth Hour" in Ba'Kelalan

Posted on 31 March 2014

29 March 2014, Ba’Kelalan, Lawas: Earth Hour draws the world's attention to the fact that many of us have to drastically reduce our ecological footprint if we are to achieve a sustainable lifestyle. But we must not forget that whilst some might be using several times their 'fair share' of resources, others are living on just a fraction of what they might be entitled to.

To the people of Ba'Kelalan in the highlands of Sarawak, every hour is 'Earth Hour'. Like many other indigenous communities across the Heart of Borneo the people of Ba'Kelalan use a mixture of hydropower, solar and evening-time generators to generate power. They farm the land using traditional, sustainable methods and they conserve the forests that provide the ecosystem services they rely on.

The result is an environment and an environmental footprint that is the envy of many – cool, fresh air fills the forests; clean, unpolluted streams flow from the mountains, organic paddy fields are scattered amongst the valleys. The people of Ba'Kelalan are both a thriving, developing community and an example of how to live within the limits of the environment.

Leading by example, the Ba’Kelalan community decided to join in the celebration of Earth Hour on 29th March with communities across the world. They turned off their generator-lit lights, and used candles instead for the Earth Hour 8:30-9:30pm. To enhance the festive spirit they staged dance and music performances throughout theing. It was a lively evening celebration in a clean, fresh highland environment.

Joining in the celebration in Malaysia were local chair of the Alliance of the Indigenous Peoples of the Highlands of Borneo (FORMADAT), Penghulu Sigar Sultan, together with WWF representatives and invited guests.

WWF's Leader for the Heart of Borneo, Thomas Maddox and WWF-Malaysia Policy Manager, Jason Hon, gave talks on the importance of green living and pledged WWF's continuing support to the people of the Borneo highlands to help them maintain their traditions of sustainable development.

"One planet living requires many of us to drastically reduce consumption,”, said Maddox. "In Ba'Kelalan your relationship with your environment is an example to us all."

“Continue to engage in traditional farming methods in the highlands; always be aware of the importance and need to safeguard the environment and stop its degradation,” Hon urged the community.

Cristina Eghenter of WWF-Indonesia Social Development Strategy Leader emphasized that, “We need to work towards ensuring a more fair share of energy between rural and urban areas, while also encouraging more sustainable lifestyle.”

Earth Hour is a global environmental initiative that began in 2007 in Sydney Australia when 2.2 million individuals and more than 2,000 businesses switched off their lights for one hour from 8.30pm, to take a stand against climate change. In 2014, Earth Hour was celebrated on 29 March.


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About the WWF Borneo Programme
The WWF Borneo Programme is a collaboration between WWF-Malaysia and WWF-Indonesia, supported by WWF's global network. Comprising over 50 different projects, the programme is aiming to conserve the forests of the 'Heart of Borneo' by working with the governments of Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia to recognize value of nature as part of a smart, green economy. More info, visit panda.org/borneo


About FORMADAT
FORMADAT, an acronym for Forum Masyarakat Adat Dataran Tinggi Borneo or Alliance of the Indigenous Peoples of the Highlands of Borneo, is a trans-border community forum established by the main ethnic groups in the area - the Lundayeh /Lun Bawang, Sa'ban & Kelabit. The highlands of Borneo, which comprise the sub-districts of Bario, Ba'Kelalan and Long Semadoh in Sarawak, and Long Pasia in Sabah, Malaysia, Krayan Selatan and Krayan in North Kalimantan, Indonesia, constitute one geographic, environmental, and cultural land inhabited by people who share a common origin. 

Contacts:
Nancy Ariaini, Communications of the Heart of Borneo Initiative
Email: nariaini@wwf.or.id

Alicia Ng, Senior Communications Officer, WWF-Malaysia
Tel: +60 82 247 420 Email: kcng@wwf.org.my

Yeoh Lin Lin, Head of Communications, WWF-Malaysia
Tel: +603-78033772 Email: llyeoh@wwf.org.my
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