Earth Hour is a worldwide event organised by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and held annually on the last Saturday of March. The event is aimed at encouraging households and businesses to turn off their non-essential lights for one hour, in order to raise awareness about the need to take action on climate change. This year the Caucasus joined with more than 6,950 cities and towns across 152 countries, helping to make Earth Hour the largest voluntary action for the environment in the world.
As WWF explains:
“Earth Hour is the single, largest, symbolic mass participation event in the world. Born out of a hope that we could mobilise people to take action on climate change, Earth Hour now inspires a global community of millions of people in 7,001 cities and towns across 152 countries and territories to switch lights off for an hour as a massive show of concern for the environment.”
This year, the biggest Earth Hour action took place in Azerbaijan, which hosted events and participated in 4 cities-Baku, Lankaran, Lahij and Ganja. Georgia and Armenia also participated in the global action, with citizens placing candles in Tbilisi, in the formation of the WWF logo in honour of the occasion.
Earth hour came right on the heels of the UN’s Day of Forests and the Tree on the 21st of March (the spring equinox). It is day set aside by the United Nations General Assembly,” to annually raise awareness on sustainable management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of forests for the benefit of current and future generations”. This is the first year that the day has been celebrated, after a resolution passed on 21 December 2012, stating that each year the 21st of March is to be observed as the International Day of Forests and The Tree, on which “the UN encourages all member states to organise activities relating to all types of forests, and trees outside forests, such as tree-planting campaigns”.
The international day is in line with existing efforts and projects in the Caucasus region, to increase environmental action, particularly amongst the youth. For example, The Building Bridges Project (Armenian Tree Project), which is aimed at forging and enhancing connections with nature for Armenian youth and children–in order to learn about, and preserve, Armenia’s ecological heritage, by planting trees. The project is currently in its third year.
Where were you on Earth Hour, and how did you mark it?
International Day of Forests and the Tree
Watch Russia, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan Switch Off