SAM_0868The earth will plunge into darkness on March 19 as WWF encourages all to switch off their lights from 8:30 to 9:30 PM for the annual  celebration of Earth Hour. Earth Hour 2016  program was announced  last March 1 at a kick-off at the Raffles and Fairmont Hotel in MakaSAM_0851ti  led by its National Ambassadors Marc Nelson, Rovilson Fernandez and Iza Calzado, plus Earth Hour Steward Mikee Cojuangco-Jaworksi.   Earth Hour, which began as a single-city event in 2007, celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2016.

SAM_0812Earth Hour Philippines’ main switch-off event shall be held at the Quezon City Memorial Circle from 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM on March 19, Saturday night. “It shall be a showcase of climate solutions,” explains Earth Hour Philippines Director Atty. Gia Ibay. “Stationary bikes will partially power this year’s event to show that united, Pinoys can light up this country with their collective energy. Together, anything is possible.”

SAM_0831Earth Hour uses the simple action of turning off lights for 60 minutes to deliver a powerful message about the need for decisive climate change solutions. In the past decade, the movement has grown from a symbolic switch-off event in Sydney, Australia to the world’s largest open-sourced environmental campaign mobilising hundreds of millions of people in over 7000 cities and 172 countries.

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The Philippines has been championing the switch-off since 2008 and has topped participation records from 2009 to 2013 – earning it the title of Earth Hour Hero Country.  A growing list of allies has pledged to support this year’s efforts, led by government partners such as the Climate Change Commission (CCC), Department of Budget and Management (DBM), Department of Energy (DOE), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), Department SAM_0839of Health (DOH), Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of National Defense (DND), National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), League of Cities of the Philippines (LCP), League of Provinces of the Philippines (LPP), Local Government of Quezon City, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP).

SAM_0844Corporate champions include ArthaLand, Banana Peel, Coca-Cola, Healthy Options, H&M Philippines, Philips, Starbucks and White Gold Club. Technical partners include Anakata, BEMAC, Global Electric Transport, Pivot Edutainment, Renewable Energy Association of the Philippines and Solar Solutions.  WWF is seeking more government, corporate and media support.

SAM_0875Social media users can promote their commitment to the planet by donating their Facebook feeds to spread climate awareness and action in a few clicks on earthhour.org/climateaction. Users can also use the hashtags #EarthHourPhilippines, #ChangeClimateChange, and #RenewableisDoable to promote climate solutions.

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“Social media knows no physical boundaries and neither does climate change,” says Earth Hour Global Executive Director Siddarth Das. “A simple action on social media is the kind of powerful statement that can excite friends and communities to be a part of the climate action we need to take on this global challenge.”

Since 2007, WWF and Earth Hour teams worldwide have harnessed the power of the moveme12764309_10153543500467956_6061327108927055175_ont to raise support and funds for access to renewable energy, protection of wildlife and their habitats, building sustainable livelihoods and driving climate-friendly legislation and policy. WWF-Philippines in turn celebrates its 20th anniversary this 2016.

Earth Hour 2016 will be celebrated on Saturday, 19 March 2016 between 8:30 and 9:30 PM in the Philippines and across the globe. Log on to www.earthhour.org and wwf.org.ph for more stories on Earth Hour and climate solutions.

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