22. March 2021 — Press Release
22.03.2021 — خبر صحفى

Earth Hour 2021 calls for urgent action to set nature on the path for recovery

  • Scientific evidence shows that nature loss is linked to an increased risk of pandemics.
  • On March 24, ‘Earth Hour 2021 – Let’s Speak Up for Nature’ virtual event will spotlight inspiring UAE-based speakers across businesses, the government and youth, who are making a difference within their communities.
  • To ensure public safety as COVID-19 restrictions continue, Earth Hour will be celebrated virtually.

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – March 21, 2021: On Saturday, 27 March at 8:30 p.m. UAE time, Emirates Nature-WWF is inviting the UAE community to virtually participate in Earth Hour, one of the largest global grassroots movements for the environment, which will bring together millions of people, businesses and leaders from around the world to shine a spotlight on the urgent need to address nature loss and climate change. With evidence pointing towards a close link between nature's destruction and rising incidences of infectious disease outbreaks like COVID-19, Earth Hour 2021 will unite people online to speak up for nature.

The occurrence of several catastrophic incidents last year including extreme weather events, devastating wildfires and the COVID-19 outbreak highlighted that preventing nature loss is crucial for safeguarding our future. A global assessment of biodiversity targets showed that the world failed to meet the 2020 deadline for achieving the targets set for preventing nature loss a decade ago. Earth Hour marks a pivotal opportunity for civil society organisations, individuals, businesses and environmentalists to Speak Up for Nature and set nature on a path to recovery by 2030.

“Human health and the health of our environment are inextricably linked. Our collective resilience, well-being, nutrition, and ability to avert disease is fully connected to the food we eat, the water we drink, the air we breathe, and the ways we interact with nature. Along with dealing with the challenges of the pandemic, 2020 was also the year when nature and biodiversity rose to the top of the political and corporate agenda like never before, and when the interdependence of the nature, climate, and health crises was strongly recognized by UAE leadership” said Laila Mostafa Abdullatif, Director General at Emirates Nature-WWF. “Earth Hour 2021 gives us a golden opportunity to join hand-in-hand and drive change together, as an active civil society, towards a green recovery for the UAE.” continued Abdullatif.

Prior to Earth Hour, Emirates Nature-WWF will host a virtual event ‘Let’s Speak Up for Nature’ on March 24, at 4:30p.m where individuals, businesses, government entities and youth will speak up for nature. ‘Let’s Speak Up for Nature’ focuses on the power of storytelling where invited speakers will share stories with the goal to uplift attendees, motivate them to make a difference, and most importantly drive them to embracing a more sustainable mindset. Along with other speakers, Sophie Corcut, Brand & Sustainability Manager at Spinneys Dubai LLC and Wael Al Awar, Architect & Co-curator for the National Pavilion UAE will be making an appearance at the virtual event to share some inspiring stories.  To register to the ‘Let’s Speak Up for Nature’ event, click the link here.

Emirates Nature-WWF is calling the UAE community to become the catalyst for urgent change by participating online to raise awareness. To take part in the first-ever Earth Hour Virtual Spotlight event this year, the community is encouraged to share a must-watch global hero video through their social media accounts which is set to go live by Emirates Nature-WWF and Earth Hour global teams as soon as all lights are switched off. By using the power of the network which includes over 190 countries to take over the internet on the night of Earth Hour, this will put the spotlight on our planet, the issues we face, and our planet within it all.

Healthy natural ecosystems are the cornerstone of thriving, equitable and sustainable societies. Our current socio-economic models are leading to the devastating destruction of nature, which is increasing our vulnerability to pandemics, accelerating climate change, and placing livelihoods at risk.'' said Marco Lambertini, Director General, WWF International. ''2021 is a crucial year for humanity. As the world tries to turn the tide and recover from the ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic and rebuild itself, we need to put nature at the centre of our recovery efforts to future proof our economies and societies. Earth Hour is a critical moment for individuals, leaders, and environmentalists to unite and call for urgent action to reverse nature loss and secure a nature-positive world by 2030.” added Lambertini.

Participants can also sign up to the ‘Zero to Climate Hero’ challenge where they will embark on a 5-week journey that will empower guests with simple yet impactful tips to help reduce their carbon footprint and combat the climate crisis. By signing up to the challenge, participants will receive an email per week giving them the tips and tricks on how to play a role in combatting climate change. To sign up to the ‘Zero to Climate Hero’ challenge, click the link here.

Change makers will have the opportunity to speak up for nature. A good way to do their part for nature is volunteer in nature activities where they will cultivate their skills, collaborate with inspiring individuals across the UAE and build a better future where people and nature thrive. By joining the 5-week programme, participants will become responsible global citizens by co-creating the blueprint for sustainable development in the UAE. For more information on the how to make a difference, click the link here.

Started in Sydney in 2007, Earth Hour has grown to become one of the world's largest grassroots movements for the environment.