Landmarks set for record Earth Hour



Posted on 26 March 2014  | 
Singapore skyline, Earth Hour 2009
© CorbisEnlarge
From Thailand to Tahiti, Iran to Las Vegas and the International Space Station to Sudan - iconic monuments and moments are emerging for this year’s upcoming Earth Hour, the global movement organised by WWF, to be held this Saturday at 8:30PM local time across the planet.

Where East meets West, the Sultan Ahmed Mosque (Blue Mosque) in Istanbul will switch off for Earth Hour for the first time, alongside the Hagia Sophia and Bosphorous Bridge that connects Europe and Asia.

The Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House, Tokyo Tower, Taipei 101, Wat Arun Buddhist Temple in Bangkok, The Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur, India Gate, the world’s tallest building Burj Khalifa in Dubai, South Africa’s Table Mountain, St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican City, The Eiffel Tower in Paris, La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Buckingham Palace in London, Edinburgh Castle in Scotland, Christ the Redeemer (statue) in Rio de Janeiro, The Angel of Independence in Mexico City, The Empire State Building and Times Square in New York City, Niagara Falls, Los Angeles International Airport, the Las Vegas Strip and more will join in the world’s largest celebration for the planet to be held this Saturday March 29 at 8:30PM local time across the world.

“It is always extraordinary to see cities and landmarks involved in Earth Hour, but in 2014 it is the stories and activities happening beyond the hour that show this event has evolved into a movement driven by the power of the crowd,” said Andy Ridley, CEO and Co-Founder of Earth Hour from the movement’s home in Singapore.

The first major city to go dark will be Auckland in New Zealand where the Sky Tower will switch off, before Earth Hour moves to Australia where the movement began seven years ago.

A massive candle lit display on the lawn of Parliament House in Canberra will spell out, ‘It’s Lights Out For The Reef’ as events across the country will screen a special documentary about the impact of climate change on the threatened natural wonder the Great Barrier Reef.

Earth Hour will then sweep across Asia, where a massive on-the-ground presence by the most digitally engaged Earth Hour teams in the world will see participants using their power for Earth Hour Blue, a crowdfunding and crowdsourcing platform for the planet raising support for solution based on the ground projects to deliver environmental outcomes.

Following the recent announcement that Spider-Man is the first Super Hero ambassador for Earth Hour, the cast of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 will be on hand to help to switch off the lights across Singapore’s signature Marina Bay skyline as part of WWF-Singapore’s flagship Earth Hour event.

Inspired to take the Super Hero theme for Earth Hour 2014 to another level, Kuwaiti athlete Refaei hopes to Base jump from the top of Olympia Mall where the main Earth Hour event will be happening in Kuwait. The base jumper, skydiver and wing suit pilot posted a photo to Instagram saying, “Cannot wait for this Saturday to be part of it and save the world”.

For the second year running, Russia’s Kremlin, the residence of the President, and Red Square will switch off for Earth Hour, as WWF-Russia calls on people across the globe to help support on the ground field projects to help save five key species living in the region, including the critically endangered Amur Leopard.

Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Tyurin has also recorded a message from the International Space Station, reminding the world that whilst the planet looks amazing and beautiful from space, it also looks fragile and therefore people should do their part to protect it.

Showing that the movement reaches all corners of the globe, the biggest Earth Hour logo in history (2800 square meters) has been created in the city of Isfahan in Iran. An event in front of the Khaju Bridge in Isfahan will raise awareness about the plight of the famous Zayanderud River, where there has been no continuous water flow for the past few years due to climate change and inadequate water management.

Across to Europe, WWF-Belgium is enlisting the support of some of the country's best known bands, include Suarez, Hush Hush and Alek et les Japonaises, to play in the living rooms of 40 committed Earth Hour supporters who register their unplugged party online before the global celebration on March 29.

Since its inception in 2007, WWF’s Earth Hour has become a movement mobilising people on environmental priorities across the world.

Last year alone saw thousands of Argentinians petition to pass a senate bill to create a Marine Protected Area 28 times the size of New York City, and WWF-Uganda began the fight against the 6,000 hectares of deforestation that occurs in the country every month by creating the first ‘Earth Hour Forest’. In 2012, Russians also petitioned to get legislative change protecting the country’s seas from oil pollution and now are striving to protect an area of forest twice the size of France.

“These Earth Hour success stories illustrate the movement has become a global collaboration to show what can be achieved for the planet,“ said Ridley.

At the heart of the movement’s digital growth is Indonesia, where Earth Hour has become a massive, year-round youth led movement enlisting the support of more than 1.5 million people across more than 31 cities in the country.

Creating simple and creative environmental actions through film, performances, social media and public gatherings, the teams promote environmental activities related to saving electricity, reduction in use of plastic, using less paper and tissue, planting more trees and using public transportation throughout the year.

From creative campaigns to acoustic concerts, cyclothons to candlelit marches, flash mobs to dance performances and tree planting to recycling drives – this year people from all walks of life are uniting to become Super Heroes for the Planet on the night to celebrate Earth Hour 2014 in an effort to drive global action to protect the planet.

Reggae artists in Jamaica will perform an acoustic concert for the second year running; and in Tahiti, where Earth Hour will end its epic journey across more than 150 countries and territories, 5000 people will gain entry to a massive acoustic concert at Stade Paster by handing in a piece of recyclable waste they’ve collected to avoid landfill.

The lights off event will take place on 29th of March at 8:30 PM local time across the globe; starting in New Zealand and ending in Tahiti.
Singapore skyline, Earth Hour 2009
© Corbis Enlarge
Christ the Redeemer, Brazil. Earth Hour 2009.
© Americo Vermelho Enlarge
Doi Suthep, Chang Mai northern Thailand, switches off for Earth Hour 2010.
© WWF Thailand Enlarge
Sydney, Australia, Earth Hour 2010
© WWF/Sewell Enlarge
The Eiffel Tower glitters after the switch off
© Nina Munn / WWF Enlarge

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