WWF hopes next Earth Hour will garner greater support

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The World Wildlife Fund on Wednesday night announced the next Earth Hour 2010 will be observed on March 27 from 8.30 p.m. to 9.30 p.m.

The Earth Hour, a WWF initiative to draw attention to the perils of Climate Change, is observed by switching off all non-essential lights for an hour by millions of people around the world.

The event, launched in Sydney in 2007, has become a global movement with more than a billion participants from 4,013 cities in 88 countries and territories in 2009.

The announcement of next year’s event was made as a special Earth Hour was being observed at the ongoing climate change conference in Copenhagen, Denmark.

The special Earth Hour sought to send the 192 leaders attending the Copenhagen summit the message that “The world is calling for decisive action on climate change; it is time for leaders to listen,” a WWF press release said.

The Earth Hour 2009 was considered a success in Vietnam with the participation of six cities â€" Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Can Tho, Hoi An, Hue and Khanh Hoa, and the WWF hopes to receive more support from individuals and organizations throughout the nation next year, it said in the release. 

The Earth Hour is held on the last Saturday of March every year, when households and businesses are asked to turn off as many lights and electrical appliances as they can for one hour.

It tries to show that anyone, anywhere can join in the fight against climate change.

“It is not hard to turn off non-essential lights and other electrical appliances for one hour, but it requires effort, love and responsibility to our Earth to make it our habit in daily life,” said Phuong Ngan, member of WWF Vietnam Communications Office and Earth Hour Team.

Ngan, who has just returned from Antarctica with five other Vietnamese, said she has witnessed clear impacts of climate change on the continent.

“Some ice sheets have disappeared over recent years due to higher temperatures. Ice melting raises sea levels, which will directly and severely impact coastal countries like Vietnam. It is time Vietnamese understood climate change and its impacts on their own lives. The primary goal of Earth Hour 2010 in Vietnam is to raise this awareness.”

WWF is working with governments of the six Greater Mekong nations including Vietnam to protect 600,000 square kilometers of transboundary forests and freshwater habitats.

These are home to rare Asian elephants, Indochinese tigers, rare populations of Irrawaddy dolphins and one of only two populations of the Javan rhino in the world.

Source: Thanh Nien

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