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PARAMARIBO—Independence Square will be wrapped in darkness for an hour from 8.30pm Saturday evening, but alive with unplugged performances as Suriname observes Earth Hour 2012.
Following encouraging results last year, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Suriname is again organizing Suriname’s observance of the global stand against climate change, the world’s largest volunteers’ event. The entire country is being urged through TV advertising and billboards to turn off the lights for one hour, in support of the earth and in solidarity with the 20 percent of the world’s inhabitants who do not have electricity.
“Last year Suriname used 4 percent less electricity than usual during the earth hour,” WWF says in a press release. The organization commended President’s Bouterse’s support who during Earth Hour 2011 took the lead and had the lights turned off at the Presidential Palace. “This year we will be at the Independence Square again, where we will entertain the public for a whole hour with interactive acts,” the press release states. It says there will be fire eating, singing, drumming and dance performances, all unplugged, without amplifiers.
Hundreds of millions of people, businesses and governments around the world unite each year to support the largest environmental event in history – Earth Hour. More than 5,200 cities and towns in 135 countries worldwide switched off their lights for Earth Hour 2011 alone, sending a powerful message for action on climate change. It also ushered in a new era with members going Beyond the Hour to commit to lasting action for the planet. Without a doubt, it’s shown how great things can be achieved when people come together for a common cause.
Earth Hour is organised worldwide by the WWF. With almost 5 million supporters and a global network in over 100 countries/territories, it’s one of the world’s largest and most respected independent conservation organisations. WWF’s mission is to stop the degradation of the Earth’s natural environment and build a future where people live in harmony with nature. Earth Hour is a global call to action to every individual, business, school and community to take a stand against climate change.
PARAMARIBO–With two days to go before Suriname turns off its lights in support of Earth Hour, Odette Miranda of Chetskeys –the media production company hired to promote the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) global initiative in Suriname- was excited. “I was excited from when we got this account, but now the climax is really drawing near,” she said on Thursday. She looked forward to driving around on Saturday night, to witness firsthand how many people are really willing to be in darkness for the earth, for a whole hour starting 8.30pm.
It is the first time Suriname rolls out Earth Hour, an initiative WWF started in 2007 in Sydney, Australia when 2.2 million individuals and more than 2,000 businesses turned their lights off for one hour to take a stand against climate change. Only a year later and Earth Hour had become a global sustainability movement with more than 50 million people across 35 countries/territories participating. Global landmarks such as the Sydney Harbour Bridge, CN Tower in Toronto, Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, and Rome’s Colosseum, all stood in darkness, as symbols of hope for a cause that grows more urgent by the hour.
Miranda said it would be great if Suriname’s Government turned off the spotlights that shine on the Presidential Palace at night, during Earth Hour. “But even greater would be if people would start being more aware of the unnecessary waste of energy and turn off lights, use less water in the house and observe other measures that will help preserve our planet,” she said. She said she was in talks with electricity company EBS, to gauge how much power is saved during the Earth Hour Saturday. “It would be nice if we can find that out,” the vibrant advertising executive said.
Since Suriname launched the initiative with the unveiling of a billboard earlier this month, it has gotten much support from the authorities. Environment Minister Ginmardo Kromosoeto has said that his house will be in darkness Saturday night and President Desi Bouterse will likely also make a similar statement that will be broadcast on Friday and Saturday night. “That is so exciting!; that the highest authority of the country comes out in support of this laudable global initiative will help to show the people of the country how important this is,” said Miranda.
She said she noticed that people lack awareness on the subject of preserving the environmental. “Some people have trouble grasping the concept of Earth Hour, which is why the President’s support is so important,” she said, adding: “at least all children that our Promo Teams make presentations to when they visit the schools as part of this initiative, as excited.”
This, she said, creates hope that Earth Hour Suriname would grow to be a phenomenon in its own right. All avenues are used to spread the word; Earth Hour Suriname already has its own Facebook page. “We got big plans for the future. We’re thinking of turning this into a manifestation, during which people get together in the dark of the Earth Hour. But first let’s see if everyone in Suriname turns off their lights … including the people who are in charge of the Presidential Palace.”
PARAMARIBO–Suriname is turning off the lights for an hour on March 26, in solidarity with worldwide concerns regarding the future of the planet. “Our planet is in danger; we’re using too much energy, and it’s evident in climate change,” Dominiiek Plouvier of World Wildlife Fund *(WWF) Guianas told journalists in Wednesday at the launch of Suriname’s leg of Earth Hour, a WWF event that takes place annually all over the world since 2007. It’s the first time Suriname takes part.
To encourage Surinamers to turn off their lights on March 26 at 9.30pm, WWF has erected a billboard at Henck Arron Street. The billboard is also meant to make people more aware of wastefulness, said Plouvier. He stressed that it is important that people be more considerate toward the environment; people still use too much water and energy and still continue to discard plastic bottles carelessly. Forests have to make way for housing projects. “We need to be aware of what we’re doing to our planet,” the WWW official said.
Media production company Chetskeys was contracted to roll out the Suriname initiative; besides producing the billboard, the company also produced a telecision infomercial that is played on local television stations. WWF officials will furthermore as of Friday visit schools throughout the country to make students more aware of the importance of Earth Hour.