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An Hour dedicated to Mother Earth

Earth Hour 2014 will be observed across the globe from 8:30pm to 9:30pm today, ARY News reports. 

Pakistan is also observing the Earth Hour to raise awareness of environmental challenges and the impact of the climate change at the only known planet that sustains life. 

People around the world will have to turn off all non-essential lights to garner support for sustainable initiatives and as a symbol for their commitment to the earth and its environment. Tonight, from 8:30pm to 9:30pm local time, darkness will fall over the Earth in a revolving wave as people around the globe would  extinguish their electric lights for Earth Hour, the movement organized by WWF to mobilize public support for protection of the mother planet. 

“Earth Hour has always been more than just about lights off, it’s about people from all walks of life coming together throughout the year to show what they can do to protect the planet,” says Andy Ridley, CEO and co-founder of Earth Hour from the movement’s home in Singapore.

Earth Hour is the world’s largest grass-roots level movement to combat climate change. It started from Sydney, Australia, in 2007. 
          
The United Nations will participate in Earth our by turning off all lighting for three hours at its headquarters in New York.

"In order to demonstrate the UN's commitment to support action on climate change, and in the lead-up to the Climate Summit, this year the UN is going the extra mile and turning off all non- essential lights within the UN complex in New York for three hours from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.," according to a message on the UN website. "The offices in Geneva, Switzerland and many other UN locations worldwide will also participate," it added.

This is the fifth year that the United Nations will join scores of other landmark buildings around the world in the Earth Hour event.

Earth Hour, a symbolic global initiative organized by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), started as a lights-off event in Sydney, Australia in 2007. Since then it has grown to engage over 150 countries and hundreds of millions of people.

"WWF has been raising international awareness about climate change and renewable energy with the Earth Hour campaign," UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Friday in a video message for the opening of the WWF office in Seoul, South Korea. "I look forward to joining you on March 29 as we switch off our lights for one hour — and switch on to a cleaner, greener future, " Ban said.

The date of the Earth Hour event traditionally coincides with the Spring and Autumn equinoxes in the northern and southern hemispheres respectively, which allows for near coincidental sunset times in both hemispheres, thereby ensuring the greatest visual impact for a global "lights out" event.

Government of Sindh in partnership with WWF-Pakistan signed a declaration announcing Sindh as Earth Hour province for 2014. Sindh is the only province which has got this status for the fourth consecutive year. The event was held at Sindh Assembly, Karachi.

Speaking on the occasion Dr. Sikandar Ali Mandhro, Sindh's Minister for Environment stated that we live on a beautiful planet and it can only stay beautiful if we take ownership and ensure effective management of its precious natural resources. As time goes by, there are signs that our planet is being used beyond its capacity. If we do not act now, we will spend millions and billions of rupees in trying to recover its state.

He pointed out that we are eating the fruits of the land, so we should not be lazy about protecting the mother that is taking care of us.

Lights of the Parliament House in Islamabad will be switched off during the Earth Hour to show Pakistan’s commitment of joining hands with the world for energy conservation. Speaker National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq said that the Parliament of Pakistan was the first ever legislature in the world to opt for solar energy completely. Earth Hour candle lighting ceremony will be held in the Parliament House from 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm today. 

The Hour dedicated to mother Earth is celebrated on the last Saturday of March every year. Millions of people around the world would switch off their lights for Earth Hour at 8.30pm (20:30) according to their local timings. 

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