Bhutan will join the rest of the world today in observing the Earth Hour from 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm. The day is observed on the last Saturday of March every year because it is about the same time of the spring and fall equinoxes in the northern and southern hemispheres respectively.
This allows for near-coincidental sunset times in both hemispheres, thereby ensuring the greatest visual impact for a global ‘lights out’ event. In honor of the Earth Hour today the countries around the globe will go dark for an hour.
The Earth Hour was celebrated for the first time in Bhutan last year in Thimphu only and today other dzongkhags including the schools, organizations, business community and residents will observe the event.
“It was originally done to raise awareness and inform the everyday citizens to be more aware on the use of energy,” Deputy Minister, National Environment Commission (NEC), Paljor Jigme Dorji said. He said that global warming and climate change is escalating and this symbolic gesture is some way to help the planet.
According to the NEC Deputy Minister the message on the earth hour is particularly dedicated to youths. And it is necessary to teach them the importance of the planet.
“One billion people saving energy for one hour is a lot of energy being saved,” he said.
In Thimphu the event will be celebrated at the National Memorial Chorten by switching off the lights of the Chorten and other non-essential lights in the city for an hour.
The Earth Hour is a global campaign in over 5,000 cities in 185 countries with support from 1.8 billion people to raise awareness about the need to take action on climate change.
The capital of Australia, Sydney is the first to celebrate the darkness since Earth Hour began in the Australian capital in 2007 when the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) inspired residents to show their commitment to the planet. The Earth Hour is more than switching off the lights for an hour once a year but it is also about giving people a voice and working together to create a better future for the planet.
The celebration by the world community symbolizes an effort to help contribute to a sustainable future in this age, when the earth is facing some of the most critical environment challenges in its history.
Among those taking part for the second time in the world’s largest mass event in support of the planet are Libya, Algeria, Bhutan and French Guinea and Palestinian territories. Tunisia, Galapagos, Suriname, French Guiana, St. Helena and Rwanda will observe it for the first time.
The number of countries and territories participating has grown to 147, up from 135 in 2011
The event is organized by the National Environment Commission and World Wildlife Fund in Bhutan to encourage many people to do more to curb waste and think of the environment.