Earth Hour Highlights the Importance of the Environment

International Earth Hour takes place on Saturday, with a series of sustainable events ongoing ahead of 8.30pm, when residents are encouraged to switch off their lights for one hour to show their support for the environment
Cambodians join people from across the globe to celebrate the Earth Hour. Kiripost via WWF
Cambodians join people from across the globe to celebrate the Earth Hour. Kiripost via WWF

Cambodians joined people from across the globe on Saturday to celebrate the Earth and push for more environmentally-friendly practices during the annual Power for the Hour for the Earth event.

During the Earth Hour event, which took place at 8.30pm, people were encouraged to switch off their lights, with more than 1,000 people nationwide expected to commit to saving energy during that time.

“As citizens of the Earth, we are thankful to this planet for providing the oxygen to breathe, water to drink, and food to eat, pollination of plants, protection from extreme weather events, and much more vital to human’s life support system. Our reliance on the earth also means that we are interconnected with the earth,” said Neth Pheaktra, Secretary of State to the Ministry of Environment.

“It is critical now more than ever for us to give back to nature from daily doable practices including reduce, reuse and recycle, saying-no to the consumption of wild meat and wildlife products to help reduce negative impact on the natural environment, to a more in-depth involvement for example through investing in renewable energy alternatives to help protect Cambodia’s biodiversity and ecosystems,” he added.

People were encouraged to join in with Power of the Hour for the Earth, which aims to encourage people across the globe to step up their positive efforts to build back better for sustainable development.

“Doing business as usual is no longer sufficient. We all must step up our efforts. Public health, social inclusion and biodiversity conservation are among critical components for Cambodia and societies around the world to adopt for a resilient recovery. And responsible tourism practices can help tourism companies and communities build back better,” said Top Sopheak, Secretary of State of the Ministry of Tourism.

Recent events have forced people around the world to re-evaluate the vital importance of nature, its impact in our daily lives and the huge threats it faces. It has become clearer that our health and the health of our planet are intrinsically linked and both are under threat.

“Nature is our best ally to counteract the effects of climate change and to create a sustainable future because nature and biodiversity make our life possible, provide health and socioeconomic benefits,” said Seng Teak, WWF-Cambodia Country Director. “Restoring nature and biodiversity loss offers a win-win solution to save our environment and people’s wellbeing.”

This Earth Hour, public entities, communities, businesses and individuals everywhere were urged to give an Hour for Earth by doing something positive for society and planet earth to build back stronger and better.

Under the theme “Step Up, Build Back Better”, this year Cambodia celebrates its 14th Earth Hour with educational activities, including an environmental fair, exhibitions of community and environmentally-friendly products, talk shows, Earth Hour special recognition, as well as music and cultural performances for public awareness at The Factory Phnom Penh.