Muscat, March 24 –
Every year, the Environment Society of Oman invites all individuals and companies in the Sultanate to take a pledge to participate in the Earth hour by switching off lights at 8.30 pm.
The earth gets one hour of breathing space with many throughout the world opting out to go without electricity for one hour.
It was way back in 2007 in Sydney when this grassroots movement to protect the environment began, but today millions in the world mark the event by joining national events or individually to contribute towards the protection of the planet and other consequences the world has been experiencing such as climate change and environment in general.
In Oman, the campaign is spearheaded by Environment Society of Oman. This year, the event was held at Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex, Bausher. By 6.30 pm, people began to arrive to mark the annual event.
A major highlight was the scavenger hunt held during the public event that challenged participants to solve riddles using clues and information about Humpback Whales, to find the hidden treasure.
Other forms of entertainment included live music performances, colouring activities for children, food stalls and finally concluding the night with an environmental documentary and most importantly the lights out.
Corporate entities also participated in their own way. Oman Arab Bank made it a celebration for the staff and family members. Hilal Siyabi, Head of Corporate Communications, said “they are all here and the light you are seeing is of candles. This way no one is using electricity at home.”
Madiha al Bakry said the message we are conveying is save energy.
The global theme this year is #CONNECT2EARTH, which has been focusing on raising awareness about global biodiversity and its importance to ecosystems. In line with the global theme, this year’s event focused on the Arabian Sea Humpback Whales and through a new collaboration with Xcape Muscat.
Meanwhile, there have been individuals who have also been taking up the cause. Krishnaveni Praveen said, “We have been doing it for the last two years. Let us do it for our kids.”
According to earthhour.org, “From pushing for environmentally-friendly laws and policies to crowd funding for a better future, you make Earth Hour possible. Coordinated by WWF and other volunteer organisations, Earth Hour’s greatest strength is the power of people.”
It also says, “As accelerating climate change and staggering biodiversity loss threaten our planet, Earth Hour 2018-2020 endeavours to spark never-before-had conversations on the loss of nature and the urgent need to protect it.” This year the biodiversity of earth has been stressed on pointing out that people are only one part of earth’s vast web of life.
Accordingly, people are being urged to connect to earth, “in touch with our roots and nurture nature by helping to conserve wildlife and their habitat”.