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Earth Hour 2019 in Dubai Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

DUBAI: The UAE will for the first time mark a digital Earth Hour on March 28 at 8:30 pm local time.

The move comes in view of the ongoing health crisis as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak everywhere. Earth Hour is one the largest global movements to protect the environment, and brings people together from around the world. The decision to go digital this year is in support of the UAE community, so that everyone can safely celebrate Earth Hour.

Emirates Nature-WFF, the national environmental non-governmental organisation, is coordinating this event in association with WWF, one of the world’s largest conservation organisations with a global network active in nearly 100 countries aiming to stop the degradation of the Earth’s natural environment.

Earth Hour 2020 represents a great opportunity for the UAE to join millions around the world in raising awareness around addressing nature loss, reversing environmental decline, and safeguarding the planet’s future. Whether in the workplace, home or community, it is vital to join the fight for our planet this Earth Hour.

Laila Mostafa Abdullatif, Director General of Emirates Nature-WWF, said, “Nature is critical to life as we know it; it provides nourishing food, clean air, freshwater and so much more. But just as we depend on nature for survival, nature depends on us. Earth Hour is our opportunity to stand in solidarity with people across the world and show we care about the future of our planet. Here in the UAE, everyone can speak up for nature by sharing their stories and pledges online and by making tangible changes at home, in our communities and places of work. We are excited and look forward to collaborating with all our stakeholders in an innovative way this Earth Hour – civil society, youth, government leaders and businesses who are leading by example and standing up for nature on Saturday, March 28 at 8.30pm.

How it started

Starting as a symbolic lights-out event in Sydney in 2007, Earth Hour has grown to engage individuals, businesses and governments in over 7,000 cities and more than 180 countries and territories during the hour and beyond. In 2019 all seven Emirates participated in the movement. Year on year it has been inspiring to see the numbers and the diversity of audiences taking part in celebrations for Earth Hour across the UAE – and even more impact is expected in 2020.

“The global rate of nature loss during the past 50 years is unprecedented in human history, threatening human lives and well-being,” said Marco Lambertini, Director General, WWF International. ‘’The services provided by nature are estimated to be worth $125 trillion a year – double the world’s GDP - and without nature’s resources, the businesses and services we depend on will fail. Nature also benefits us by providing our food, water and clean air, and is one of our strongest allies against climate change. It is vital that we add our Voice for the Planet to press for a New Deal for Nature and People in 2020 for a sustainable future for all.”

How to take part

People and businesses can be a part of this event by participating in digital activities that make Earth Hour 2020 unique: virtual events will be hosted on social media - to find out how to join in the celebrations log on to; the Voice for the Planet pledge allows people to add their own personal voice to protect the planet we call home, and downloadable toolkits for businesses, individuals and youth provide inspiration and collaterals to raise awareness on the values of biodiversity and support climate-solutions in the UAE.