Tuesday, 29 March 2011

NAIROBI JOINS THE WORLD IN EARTH HOUR



Kenya joined people in a record 134 countries and territories across the globe in switching off their lights for an hour in a unified show of support for action towards a sustainable future for our planet.
Hundreds of landmarks in thousands of cities went dark at 8:30pm Saturday local time, as hundreds of millions of people take part in the world’s largest voluntary action for the environment. And with individuals, organisations and governments this year pledging to take their Earth Hour commitment beyond the hour, it did not end when the lights come back on.



“Our participation in this year’s Earth Hour goes in line with our main objective of fostering a culture in which individuals, communities, businesses and other entities voluntarily minimize the impact of their activities to promote sustainable management of the environment,” said Catherine Ndegwa, the CEO NETFUND, adding that “Our partnership with WWF is a clear indication of our commitment in helping transform the attitudes of Kenyan’s towards the conservation of the environment, through creative and innovative initiatives.”



The event traversed the globe over 24 hours, from the first lights being dimmed across Fiji and New Zealand to lights being turned on again in Samoa. The transition lasted longest in Russia, where 11 time zones are covered.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon pledged his support for Earth Hour saying: “Let us join together to celebrate this shared quest to protect the planet and ensure human well-being. Let us use 60 minutes of darkness to help the world see the light.”



Instantly recognizable landmarks across the world that stood in darkness for the hour include the Kenyatta International Conference Centre, Eiffel Tower, the London Eye and Big Ben, the Empire State Building, Dubai’s Burj al Arab hotel, Rio de Janeiro’s Christ the Redeemer statue, Athens’ Acropolis, Sheik Zayed Grand Mosque, the largest mosque in the United Arab Emirates and the Sydney Opera House.
“As we enter the second phase of Earth Hour, let us aim to build an interconnected global community engaged in ongoing dialogue and resource sharing. This will help generate real solutions for meeting the complexities of the journey to an environmentally sustainable future,” said Mohamed Awer, Director of WWF’s Kenya Country Office.



This year, a swell of support in Kenya included our world re-known athletes. Asbel Kiprop (1,500m Olympic Champion) proudly donned his Earth Hour t-shirt on his flight from Sydney Australia. He was joined at the Nairobi event by fellow athletes Milkah Chemos (3,000m steeple chase) and Alex Kipchirchir (1,500m).
Others who participated include Safaricom, Nokia, Access Leo Burnett and MTN Business.

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