Gone For 60 Seconds: Expo Embraces Earth Hour with Sequential ‘Switch-Off Parade’ Organised By Emirates Nature-WWF
As part of the global Earth Hour initiative, various pavilions took part in the rolling power-down on Saturday night, while hundreds of visitors followed the marching band
Dubai, March 28, 2022: Orchestrated with the help of a Dubai Police marching band, more than 60 pavilions at Expo 2020 sequentially turned off their lights for 60 seconds over the course of Earth Hour on Saturday night, creating a stunning domino light effect and attracting thousands of spectators.
The “Switch Off Parade” was organised by Emirates Nature and WWF International with the intention of raising awareness of climate change and the need to care for our planet. Cities around the world powered down their non-essential lights for an hour on March 26, as is custom since the Earth Hour movement began in 2007.
As part of this year’s campaign in the UAE, with switching off all lighting at Expo not feasible for health and safety reasons, Emirates Nature and WWF International organised the special public event as an awareness-raising solution. Starting at Peru at 8.30pm and terminating outside the United Kingdom an hour later, each of the participating pavilions – namely the Saudi Pavilion, Slovenia Pavilion and Terra District – switched off its electricity for one minute as the marching band passed.
“It is apt to have carried out this year’s event at Expo 2020 as it embodies the UAE’s vision of being at the forefront of sustainable development through innovation. Although Expo 2020 is coming to an end, the legacy of what has been built - the ideas, the cooperation, and the symbolism of the world in one place looking towards a prosperous future where people and planet collaboratively thrive – illuminates how we must move forward. We've received overwhelming support this year from corporate entities, individuals from all across the country and the youth of our nation. Their participation and involvement has supplemented our belief that we're on the right track to truly "Shape our Future". Our message to everyone out there is that this is just the beginning. It's time to go "Beyond the Hour" and become a true "Leader of Change'. – said Laila Mostafa Abdullatif, Director General of Emirates Nature-WWF.
"This year’s Earth Hour at Expo 2020 was a massive success. In addition to over 100 participants in the parade march, there were thousands of spectators along Al Ghaf Avenue, a major artery that runs through Expo 2020. The rallying of the parade marchers and the pavilion switch off was significant as it correlates our overall mission - to collectively come together, lead the change towards the climate crisis and go beyond the hour to shape the future”, said Rasna Al Khamis Director of Marketing & Engagement for Emirates Nature-WWF.
As well as the Switch-Off Parade, the likes of Burj Khalifa, Burj Al Arab, the Museum of the Future, the Louvre Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Abu Dhabi, and various other famous landmarks across the country also powered down, and a significant number of residents took part in their own switch off. There was significant involvement from government and corporate entities, educational institutions, and members of society in coming together for the climate change and nature loss crisis, in the lead up and on the day of Earth Hour, via participation in environment impact-driven programmes and activities.
Emirates Nature-WWF is a non-profit organisation established to conserve the United Arab Emirates’ natural heritage and build a future where people and nature thrive. The organization was founded in 2001 under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Ruler’s Representative in the Al Dhafra Region and Chairman of the Governing Board of the Environment Agency‒Abu Dhabi, as a legacy of the late Sheikh Zayed’s vision for the United Arab Emirates. For two decades, Emirates Nature–WWF has been a prominent and active partner in environmental conservation in the MENA region. We work in association with WWF, one of the world’s largest and most respected independent conservation organisations. As a local conservation think-tank and pioneers of the “Leaders of Change” programme, the world’s first-ever digital membership platform for the environment – we empower, convene and mobilize civil society, government entities and businesses to support the UAE’s sustainability agenda and deliver transformative impact at scale for the benefit of people and planet alike. Learn more about the “Leaders of Change” programme at www.leadersofchange.ae and our various other projects at www.emiratesnaturewwf.ae .