Earth Hour 2013 inspires conservation action
In Russia, a WWF Earth Hour initiative mobilised public support for protection of the country’s most biologically valuable forests for their ecological services including water supply and climate stability. More than 127,000 people signed on to protect key forests covering 18 million ha, an area twice the size of France. This builds on a successful Earth Hour 2012 initiative which gained 120,000 signatures for better protection of Russia’s seas from oil pollution, resulting in passage of a new law in January. Earth Hour activities elsewhere included a petition to improve marine protection in Argentina, protection of a Guianas park from gold mining, creation of a 2,700 ha Earth Hour forest in Uganda and donation of 1,000 energy efficient stoves to cyclone victims in Madagascar to reduce deforestation.