Countdown is set for March 24 as World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Philippines urges Filipinos to join the much-anticipated Earth Hour 2018 with the theme #Connect2Earth, which calls on the urgent need to care for our planet’s biodiversity.

Earth Hour

From left: WWF Ambassadors Rovilson Fernandez, Janine Gutierrez, Earth Hour Pilipinas National Director Atty. Gia Ibay, WWF-Philippines’ President and CEO Joel Palma, Ambassadors Iza Calzado and Marc Nelson

This year, Earth Hour’s Manila staging will come home to the iconic Cultural Center of the Philippines in Pasay City, the venue of the Philippines’ first Earth Hour switch-off event 10 years ago. Annually, Earth Hour attracts millions of people around the world to converge around major world landmarks, cities, and communities to hold switch-off events for 60 minutes – starting at 8:30pm, as a sign of commitment to address the plight of our planet and our people.

WWF-Philippines’ President and CEO Joel Palma shares his thoughts on Earth Hour’s global theme, “Collectively, we must now look deeper and see how our water, food and energy consumption is endangering our planet’s biodiversity. It’s time to connect to Earth and rekindle our role as stewards of the environment.”

From a symbolic moment to a social movement

Earth Hour started as a symbolic lights out event in Sydney, Australia in 2007 and has since grown into one of the biggest global open-source movement for the protection of the environment in more than 7,000 cities and 180 countries.

Over the years Filipinos have embraced Earth Hour, inspiring climate action within our government, communities, businesses, and organizations. “Beyond the Hour” initiatives have inspired national advocacies pushing for low-carbon cities, renewable energy development, sustainable food production and consumption, forest and water conservation, and wildlife protection of endangered tamaraws, whale sharks and Irrawaddy dolphins among others.

Together possible

Earth Hour aims to raise awareness on the crucial importance of biodiversity as a viable resource link that families, communities, nations, and future generations all depend upon. Understanding this interconnectedness is key in solving Earth’s most pressing challenges.

Supporting Earth Hour’s vision, WWF-Philippines National Ambassadors Iza Calzado, Rovilson Fernandez and Marc Nelson led the campaign’s kick-off at the Discovery Suites in Ortigas last February 27, together with National Youth Ambassador Janine Gutierrez to help build public engagement.

Earth Hour highlights this year will include activity booths, exhibits and cultural performances by local artists to amplify #Connect2Earth messages creating a meaningful celebration to honor our planet. Earth Hour do-it-yourself (DIY) activities and partnerships with businesses and organizations are also encouraged to promote and further strengthen the grassroots movement here in the country.

Earth Hour

Earth Hour Pilipinas National Director Atty. Gia Ibay

Using this year’s official hashtag #Connect2Earth, WWF-Philippines is encouraging everyone to harness the power of social media and help share their commitment to a “one planet lifestyle” by sharing stories and photos of their sustainable living actions to care for our planet’s biodiversity via Earth Hour Philippines’ Facebook event page – that will go live by March 1, 2018.

WWF-Philippines’ Head of Climate and Energy Program and Earth Hour Pilipinas National Director Atty. Gia Ibay reiterates, “Sustained and concerted efforts are needed to help solve the planet’s deteriorating biodiversity that is further threatened by our changing climate. Governments, businesses and communities all win significant gains when we all work together and bring positive change for the planet.”