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Conservation group World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) will highlight the urgent need to address nature loss and climate change during the observance of Earth Hour tonight.

Earth Hour, one of the largest global grassroots movements for the environment, will virtually bring together millions of people, businesses and leaders from around the world to speak up for nature.

“Earth Hour 2021 is asking people to speak up for nature in as many diverse and creative ways as possible. People from across the globe can share their stories of why nature matters, and come together safely for the switch-off at 8:30 p.m. tonight,” said WWF-Philippines Earth Hour Pilipinas national director Angela Ibay.

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With evidence pointing towards a close link between nature’s destruction and rising incidences of infectious disease outbreaks like COVID-19, Earth Hour 2021 will unite people online to make their voices heard on issues concerning the environment, Ibay added.

This global event comes ahead of key moments when world

leaders will take critical decisions on nature, climate change and sustainable development, setting the course of our future.

“The occurrence of several catastrophic incidents last year including extreme weather events, devastating wildfires and the COVID-19 outbreak highlighted that preventing nature loss is crucial for safeguarding our future. A global assessment of biodiversity targets showed that the world failed to meet the 2020 deadline for achieving the targets set for preventing nature loss a decade ago. Earth Hour marks a pivotal opportunity for civil society organizations, individuals, businesses and environmentalists to call on world leaders to set nature on a path to recovery by 2030,” the group noted.

Marco Lambertini, director general of WWF International, said, “Healthy natural ecosystems are the cornerstone of thriving, equitable and sustainable societies. Our current socio-economic models are leading to the devastating destruction of nature which is increasing our vulnerability to pandemics, accelerating climate change and placing livelihoods at risk.”

He added, “2021 is a crucial year for humanity. As the world tries to turn the tide and recover from the ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic and rebuild itself, we need to put nature at the center of our recovery efforts to future proof our economies and societies. Earth Hour is a critical moment for individuals, leaders and environmentalists to unite and call for urgent action to reverse nature loss and secure a nature-positive world by 2030.”

For her part, WWF-Philippines executive director Katherine Custodio said, “2021 is a critical year because of key UN conferences where world leaders will make pledges for nature, aiming to reverse nature loss by 2030. What that means for us is an opportunity to use the moment to speak up for nature and to show our leaders what we care about so that they go into these conferences with a clear message and mandate from us citizens.”

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Meanwhile, Department of Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Roy Cimatu urged all Filipinos to participate in the global Earth Hour movement.

“I enjoin all households and businesses across the countryto 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.


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