Earth Hour Stock Shot (WWF-Philippines)Truly bright ideas can change the world. In 2004, British-born Aussie Andy Ridley collaborated with Leo Burnett and Fairfax Media for a highly-visual lights-out event to showcase unity for climate change solutions. The result was Earth Hour, a 60-minute switch-off which was born in Sydney, Australia on 31 March 2007.

Five years later the movement has spread to 152 countries across all seven continents, becoming the world’s largest recurring mass participation event. Earth Hour 2013 is set to take place in over 140 countries from 8:30PM to 9:30PM this Saturday, 23 March.

“No matter which nation one may come from, no matter what religion or ethnicity, we are all stewards of the Earth. Earth Hour is not just a token one-hour gesture – but a continuing commitment to preserve a rich, natural world for generations to follow. Together, let us welcome this hour of darkness with a renewed optimism in our capacity to become beacons of hope,” says Philippine President Benigno Aquino III.

The Philippines, declared a Hero Country for topping Earth Hour’s global town and city participation levels since 2009, aims to send a clear message of hope that climate change solutions are well within reach.

“Earth Hour’s mission is threefold – to bring people together via a symbolic hour-long event, to galvanize people into taking action beyond the hour and to create an interconnected global community working towards sustainable living practices,” explains Earth Hour Philippines National Director Atty. Gia Ibay.

One of the movement’s staunchest supporters, the Philippines was the first nation in Southeast Asia to pledge total support. With five Earth Hour celebrations under its belt, the country is slated to smash existing records with at least 1640 towns, cities and provinces pledging to join the global switch-off this 2013.

“Finally, Earth Hour Philippines has come of age. It is promoted by nonprofits yes, but it is propped up by public and private sector champions,” notes WWF-Philippines Vice-chair and CEO Jose Ma. Lorenzo Tan. “At first, government was the catalyst, having championed Earth Hour early on. However, consumer and market preferences have shifted. More and more corporations are stepping up to bring our message of hope and sustainable living to greater heights.”

At present, humanity uses the equivalent of 1.5 planets’ worth of natural resources. The mission of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), which annually spearheads the Earth Hour movement, is to reduce consumption patterns to well within the planet’s ability to continuously provide food, water and energy.

Of about 100 official Philippine switch-off events, close to 80% are from corporations, businesses and malls. Current Earth Hour private sector champions include Philips, Subaru (Motor Image Pilipinas, Inc.), ArthaLand, Megaworld, Smart Communications, LBC Foundation, Primer Group of Companies, Big Chill and Starbucks.

Media champions include ABS-CBN, GMA, TV5, Discovery Channel, Jack TV, Net 25, GNN, The Knowledge Channel, Philippine Daily Inquirer Libre, The Philippine Star, Business World, Business Mirror, Aftercall Magazine, Kristn.Com, ClickTheCity.Com, Rappler, When in Manila, FocusMedia, Globaltronics, QCreativs, DZUP, Jam 88.3, DZAS, Radyo Veritas and Sonshine Radio.

Public sector partners include the Climate Change Commission, Department of Energy, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Philippine Information Agency, Department of the Interior and Local Government, Department of Transportation and Communications, Department of Education, the Metro Manila Development Authority, League of Municipalities, League of Cities and League of Provinces of the Philippines.

“Remember that Earth Hour is no mere 60-minute switch-off,” concludes Tan. “It is an idea – that each of us has the capacity to change the world we live in. For only by reducing our individual impacts can we continue enjoying life as we know it. Together, we must find the energy to turn the inspiration of Earth Hour, into the actions of every hour.” (30)

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About Earth Hour

Earth Hour is a global environmental initiative in partnership with WWF. Individuals, businesses, governments and communities are invited to turn off their lights for one hour on Saturday, 23 March 2013 at 8:30 PM to show their support for environmentally-sustainable action. In 2013, Earth Hour’s I Will If You Will concept invites individuals and organisations to challenge others to an ongoing environmental commitment beyond the hour. Earth Hour began in one city in 2007 and by 2012 involved hundreds of millions of people in 152 countries across every continent, receiving reports as ‘the world’s largest campaign for the planet.’ For more information, log on to:

About WWF

The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) is the world’s largest and most experienced conservation organization, operating in over 100 countries through the support of nearly five million people worldwide. WWF-Philippines has been working as a national organization of the WWF network since 1997 and spearheads practical solutions to help the Philippines adapt to climate change, secure food and water sources, switch to clean sources of renewable energy and infuse sustainability into the lives and businesses of Filipinos. WWF’s mission is to build a future in which people live in harmony with nature. For more information, log on to: (PR)

For more information, please contact:

Atty. Angela Consuelo Ibay
Earth Hour Philippines National Director

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