Global earth hour

Bhutan Times - - Editorial -

Yes­ter­day we join mil­lion of peo­ple in ma­jor cities all around the world to make mark Earth Hour-a global an­nual event where in­di­vid­u­als, com­mu­ni­ties and busi­ness turn off their non- es­sen­tial lights for one hour at 8.30 p. m. lo­cal time as a sym­bol of their com­mit­ment to the planet.

World Wildlife Fund ( WWF) ini­ti­ated Earth Hours in 2007 as a way of en­gag­ing a board sec­tion of so­ci­ety in the en­vi­ron­men­tal is­sues chal­leng­ing cit­i­zens across the world. More than 7,000 cities have par­tic­i­pated in the event.

It was fa­mously started as a light­soff event in Syd­ney, Aus­tralia in 2007. Since then it has grown to en­gage more than 7000 cities and towns world­wide. To­day, Earth Hour en­gages a mas­sive main­stream com­mu­nity on a broad range of en­vi­ron­men­tal is­sues. The one-hour event con­tin­ues to re­main the key driver of the now larger move­ment.

This year theme for Earth Hour ,”Shine a light on cli­mate ac­tion”, is a very im­por­tant one, es­pe­cially for Bhutan as we are lo­cated in a re­gion most at risk from cli­mate change. Cli­mate change is ad­versely im­pact­ing the Hi­malayas’ bio­di­ver­sity and ecosys­tem ser­vices through in­creased tem­per­a­ture, ex­treme floods, droughts and storms as a re­sult of shift­ing weather pat­terns.

With the risk of cli­mate change cou­pled with the in­creas­ing hu­man pres­sures and threats, we must con­tinue to en­hance mon­i­tor­ing of our ecosys­tem and equip our­selves with tools to adapt to the im­pacts of cli­mate change. This is why we urged the coun­tries dur­ing the United Na­tions Con­fer­ence on cli­mate change con­fer­ence of par­ties 21(COP 21)in Paris last year to spend up ne­go­ti­a­tions and pledged as a coun­try to re­main car­bon neu­tral for all times to come. Bhutan’s con­tri­bu­tion to com­bat cli­mate change is made with the view that there is no need greater, or more im­por­tant, than keep­ing the planet safe. Our forests se­quester more than 6 mil­lion tons of car­bon diox­ide an­nu­ally, which is four times more than what Bhutan emits. We will con­tinue to lead in cli­mate ac­tion.

Fur­ther to ob­serve the day the World Wild Life Fund has set up a first cli­mate sci­ence sta­tion in Dungkhar Pri­mary School in Lhuentse . The earth hour event in Dungkhar sig­ni­fies a place where Bhutan lead­er­ship has be­gan, re­in­forces Bhutan’s con­tri­bu­tion and con­tin­ued lead­er­ship in cli­mate change.

The sci­ence cen­ter will al­low the stu­dents to mea­sure the daily weather, learn about the en­vi­ron­ment and dis­cuss about cli­mate change. The cen­tre will en­cour­age young stu­dents to ex­plore the world around them and un­der­stand how we can live in har­mony with na­ture and build a safe, clean and healthy en­vi­ron­ment.

For Bhutan cli­mate change is more im­por­tant as we live in the area prone to cli­mate change and a slight change in the cli­mate change will have a dev­as­tat­ing ting ef­fect on our life.

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