KARACHI: Names of celebrity ambassadors for the Earth Hour (EH) 2016, a worldwide volunteer movement dedicated to saving the planet, were announced at a ceremony held in a hotel here on Wednesday.
The programme was organised by the World Wide Fund for Nature-Pakistan (WWF-P).
With the theme ‘Change Climate Change’, EH will be observed on March 19 (Saturday) from 8.30pm to 9.30pm all over the world. The event in Karachi will be held at the Frere Hall.
This year’s celebrities for the event are veteran actor Sajid Hasan, model Anoushay Ashraf, artist Hassan Ahmed, fashion designer Amna Kardar and singer Uzair Jaswal.
Senior director of the WWF-P Rab Nawaz said the movement that had taken off in Australia in 2007 had spread across the globe, demonstrating growing public concern about the deteriorating environmental conditions and highlighting the need for finding solutions to the rapidly escalating climate change.
“Switching off unnecessary lights for an hour may seem a small act but the collective magnitude of this gesture is unimaginable,” he said.
He stressed the need for changing public mindset towards the environment to have a better future for coming generations.
Sajid Hasan talked about how badly energy crisis was impacting public life in the country and urged the people to play their role in that regard. He said: “Individual efforts are important. I hope that as an ambassador for the Earth Hour 2016, we can encourage and inspire the citizens of Pakistan to be a part of this global change and secure a better environment for ourselves and for future generations.”
Hasan Ahmed said that the movement had provided the people with an opportunity to think beyond their own interests and look at the bigger picture that depicted the future of our nation. “I have joined this campaign to play my part as a responsible global citizen and help bring about a change not only in public perception but also through practical actions. We must come together and take every possible effort to tackle this issue,” he said.
Anoushay Ashraf said the people should make their children aware of the environment by taking them to public spaces such as parks and beaches. “The global event is very much significant in the way that it brings the whole world together for a noble cause. People have started to realise that environment has a huge impact on their lives and every positive step creates a long-term benefit for them and the world,” she said.
Head of corporate partnerships and the fundraising department of the WWF-P Sania Khan said that among the many challenges the country faced, climate change was one that the people could actually do something about. “We are championing this campaign to give a strong message to the world that Pakistan cares.”
EH is a global grass-root movement to combat climate change. It invites people to voluntarily switch off all unnecessary lights for one hour as a symbolic act to show their commitment to saving the planet.
In 2015, the movement reached over 1.8 billion people, with more than 7000 cities and towns taking part in 162 countries.
Originally published in Dawn, March 10th, 2016