In the global Earth Hour movement today March 27, all Filipinos are urged and encouraged to join in support of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) efforts to mitigate the increasing effects of climate change, DENR Secretary Roy Climatu said.
The worldwide event will be observed in the Philippines from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
"I enjoin all households and businesses across the country to jointly switch off their lights and other energy-consuming devices for an hour, and to encourage action towards the environment even after the lights are turned back on," Cimatu said.
To express a shared concern for the environment, computers, television sets, air conditioning units, and non-essential lights will be switched off.
"Now more than ever, environmental responsibility is critical and must be sustained. Let us do our share and switch off for an hour in support of a healthy future for humankind and the environment," Cimatu added.
He also emphasized that beyond this symbolic action, Filipinos should go the extra mile and reduce electrical consumption to lessen carbon footprint and emissions generated by carbon dioxide and fossil fuel, which are major causes of climate change.
Shifting to renewable sources of energy can be a great help too since it draws less power compared to incandescent and fluorescent lights. Cimatu proposed using solar technology and the light-emitting diode (LED) light bulbs.
He also noted that supporting causes such as the Earth Hour movement have become more significant than ever and said the importance of nature conservation in combatting climate change, biodiversity loss, and even health risks.
"As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to rage, let us recognize the inevitable truth that the state of our planet and our health and well-being are inherently related. We should persist against harmful human activities and shift towards environment-friendly lifestyle choices," he added.
Cimatu encourages Filipinos to do their share in helping the environment as the DENR also do their part in addressing deforestation, plastic pollution, and illegal wildlife trade through its policies and programs.
"Educate yourselves, spread awareness, support government campaigns, and rethink ways how to eat, buy and travel. Let us take climate actions especially now that we are in the midst of a health crisis. When we protect our climate, we protect our health," Cimatu said.
Earth Hour is an annual global environmental movement organized by the World Wildlife Fund to encourage individuals and organizations in taking tangible actions and commitments for the planet by jointly turning off non-essential lights for an hour.
The movement started in 2007 in Sydney, Australia, and eventually spread to over 7,000 cities and 180 countries and territories.
Source: Philippine News Agency (PNA)