THE Ministry of Environment and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) have decided to suspend a physical meeting to celebrate Earth Hour 2020 on March 28. Instead, it will be celebrated online through the ministry and the organisation’s Facebook, in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Ministry secretary of state and spokesman Neth Pheaktra told The Post on Monday that the celebration of Earth Hour would be moved online to prevent spreading the virus.
“We will celebrate it on social media due to the Covid-19 issue as it is not appropriate to hold gatherings during this time,” he said.
Pheaktra said Earth Hour 2020 was of extreme importance because it serves as a reminder to reflect on the importance of the environment.
It also highlights critical issues such as environmental degradation, green energy and plastic use and moving towards more environmentally sustainable livelihoods.
He said the ministry is appealing to people to join the celebration in their respective homes by switching off their lights for an hour from 8:30pm to 9:30pm.
“This day is one for people to show their appreciation for the earth. We want people to participate in the protection of the earth.
“We must use this day to reflect on how we can better treat the earth, such as by reducing our plastic use and taking measures to lower our carbon footprint,” he said.
The ministry, alongside its partner organisations, will celebrate Earth 2020 online on social media and we invite people to join us and participate to create a better world,” he said.
WWF Cambodia communications director Tep Asnarith said on Monday that Earth Hour 2020 is a social and environmental event held every year by millions of people around the world, including those in Cambodia.
“This day is an opportunity for all ordinary people to celebrate and appreciate the environment and nature, and commit themselves to actions that will bring about positive change. Earth Hour unites all people to respect and protect our earth,” he said.
Asnarith said because this year’s celebration is to be marked online, WWF Cambodia had chosen its formal Facebook page to spread news of the campaign. The Ministry of Environment and other collaborative partners will also join in spreading and sharing the campaign.
WWF Cambodia country director Seng Teak said in a four-minute video clip that Earth Hour was a major environmental movement that was first held in 2007 in Sydney, Australia. Now 180 countries across the world celebrate the event annually.
“We encourage students, youths, private enterprises, NGOs, associations, state institutions and all people to do something positive for the earth on this day,” he said.