Peru switched off the ligths and turned on the music for Earth Hour
• Dozens of cities, including those home to New Seven Wonders and New Natural Wonders of the world, switched off
• The Chamber of Commerce of Lima joined for the first time and announced that its members, 12,000 companies strong, commit to reduce their ecological footprint!
Lima, March 23, 2013. “We have witnessed a beautiful and groundbreaking example on how, with a little creativity, all of us can help save the world”, said WWF Peru Director, Patricia León - Melgar, just after the lights across more than 15 World Heritage Sites in Lima’s downtown turned off for Earth Hour 2013.
Minutes earlier, at 8: 30 p.m. sharp, the Minister of the Environment, Manuel Pulgar – Vidal turned off a giant switch in Lima’s Main Square, setting Peru’s capital city into the darkness, as world renowned Peruvian Musician Lucho Quequezana’s tunes exploded giving way to the first ever solar energy powered concert in Peruvian History. “This is proof that great music can also help save the planet!” said Quequezana, author of the country’s number one selling record.
Guitars, base guitars, keyboards and drums, along all kind of Andean musical instruments filled the Lima night as hundreds of citizens joined Peru’s fifth edition of Earth Hour.
The Minister of the Environment, Manuel Pulgar Vidal joined Lucho on stage. “This darkness is, at the end, a sign of mental enligghtment”, he said.
“This is a good hour, an hour to raise awareness. Our actions, have an impact on the environment, if each individual acknowledges this impact, then we will have won a lot”, concluded Pulgar Vidal.
Peru joined Earth Hour for the first time in 2009, and reached an astounding record participation of over 8 million Peruvians; meaning one out of every three Peruvians with access to electricity turned off their lights. In the following years, the movement expanded throughout the country, reaching all 24 regions (states), involving the most important companies and authorities and even the President, who invited all Peruvians to join Earth Hour.
“This year a further step has been taken, not only have Peruvians participated massively, but tonight we’ve shown the world that authorities, entrepreneurs and even artists can join efforts when it is a matter of finding solutions towards a more sustainable future”, concluded León – Melgar.
PERU TAKES EARTH HOUR BEYOND THE HOUR
12,000+ COMPANIES COMMITED TOWARDS A BETTER WORLD. This year, Earth Hour in Peru took a major step forward as the Chamber of Commerce in Lima, jointly launched EH with WWF and publicly pledged to foster good environmental practices among its members, which include over 12,000 of Peru´s most important private companies, in a context in which WWF has been asked to chair the Environmental chapter of the Chamber.
MINISTER OF ENERGY LAUNCHES PROGRAM TO TRAIN 10,000 STUDENTS IN ECO-EFFICIENT PRACTICES. Under the framework of Earth Hour, the Ministry of Energy launched an ambitious program through which it is training thousands of students in Lima regarding best practices and energy efficient solutions to apply on their daily routines, as part of a long term curricular effort.
ICONS AND LANDMARKS
WONDERS OF THE WORLD AT DARK. The town of Machu Picchu, home to the New Wonder of the World “the lost city of the Incas”, once again turned its lights off. The Main Square, Municipality and neighboring buildings went into the dark, as tourists visiting the ancient lost city of the Incas enjoyed a star filled sky. Meters away from the Inca Sanctuary, the Sumaq Machu Picchu Hotel had its guests plant dozens of native trees along the Inca’s Sacred Urubamba river, for Earth Hour, plus it held a spiritual ritual led by Andean Shaman Wilko to pay tribute to the Pachamama or Mother Earth, in the dark.
On the other extreme of Peru, the city of Iquitos, where the Amazon River, a Natural Wonder of the World, origins, celebrations included turning the lights off in the city’s main square and surrounding monuments.
HISTORIC LANDMARKS. Hundreds of iconic sites turned their lights out for one hour, nationwide. Lima’s Cathedral, the Presidential Palace and over 15 other World Heritage sites in Peru’s capital city - most of them several hundred years old - joined Earth Hour. Similarly, colonial churches, municipal buildings and main squares in such iconic cities as Cuzco, capital city of the Inca Empire, and dozens others actively took part in Earth Hour.
FROM THE PACIFIC COAST, THROUGH THE HIGH ANDES, TO THE AMAZON. At least 100 cities joined Earth Hour, including all of the capital cities within the 24 Peruvian departments or states. Celebrations included bikeathons, candlelit dances and turn-off events, from the Tropical Pacific coast of Tumbes to the north on to the Aymara indigenous island of Suasi in Lake Titicaca – the highest navigable lake in the world - to the South, where the only building, Casa Andina hotel, turned off their lights for a special lights out activity night with their guests.
MODERN ICONS. Dozens of Hotels, Bank Towers, Malls, Supermarkets and modern monuments switched off for Earth Hour nationwide. The highest buldings in Lima’s trade center including the towers of Interbank, Banco de Crédito del Perú, Pacifico, Prima, Sura, Scotiabank and several others turned off their lights. The Westin Lima Hotel – the highest building in the country – also joined Earth Hour turning its lights out.
The National Museum and the Great National Theater plus over 50 other theatres, as well as the National Library and several other iconic buildings went into dark. Over 400 agencies of Scotiabank and Profuturo, over 150 BCP offices and more than 100 of the most important Supermarkets and malls in the country joined EH. Coca Cola turned off almost 80 billboards and panels to show its commitment with the largest environmental movement ever.
TOP LEVEL AMBASSADORS. Ranging from singers to comedians, actors and actresses the list of national celebrities who took part in this year’s EH included beloved Almendra Gomelsky, one of the dearest TV personalities in Peru, Damian and El Toyo, an irreverent radio duo, among many others. Most importantly, Peruvian National Soccer Team Captain and world known Bayern Munich’s crack Claudio Pizarro, as well as Jefferson Farfán, FC Schalke’s crack invited all Peruvians to join EH and “wear” the EH T shirt just hours before facing the Chilean soccer team for the classification match to the world cup.
Over 7,000 cities in more than 150 countries took part in this year’s Earth Hour, with Palestine, Tunisia, Galapagos, Suriname, French Guyana, St. Helena and Rwanda among those joining the global movement for the first time, as the world’s largest environmental movement consolidates as a platform to deliver major conservation outcomes.
In this regard, as the planet faced the seventh Earth Hour, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has called on the world to mobilize beyond the hour as extreme weather increasingly harms families, communities and economies.
“We participate with an undimmed determination to take action on climate change. Everyone has a role to play. Governments need to provide the political will, businesses can contribute solutions, and civil society, especially young people, can mobilize global action. Together, let’s do our part and shed light on common sense answers for a cleaner, greener world,” said the Secretary-General.
This year such icons as Moscow’s Kremlin and Red Square have joined for the first time, other world icons include Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge, Tokyo Tower, Taipei 101, The Petronas Towers, Beijing National Stadium (Bird's Nest), Marina Bay Sands Singapore, Gateway of India, The Burj Khalifa, The Church of the Nativity (Birthplace of Jesus, Bethlehem), Table Mountain, Dubrovnik City Walls, Eiffel Tower, Avenue Habib Bourguiba, The Acropolis, Tower of Pisa, The Spanish Steps, Brandenburg Gate, Buckingham Palace, Tower Bridge, The UK Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, Christ the Redeemer Statue, CN Tower, Las Vegas Strip, Times Square, The Empire State Building, Niagara Falls and more.