Tourism and environment ministries and environment NGOs will celebrate “Earth Hour” today at 8.30pm at Factory Phnom Penh, in Chak Angre Leu commune of the capital’s Meanchey district. The ministry called for public participation by switching off their lights in businesses and households at this time.

A joint press release on March 25 said that the event will be hosted by the Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Commerce, WWF-Cambodia and Factory Phnom Penh.

“As citizens of the Earth, we are thankful to this planet for providing the oxygen we breathe, water to drink and food to eat, the pollination of plants, protection from extreme weather events, and many more vital aspects that support human life. Our reliance on the Earth means we must be connected to it,” said Neth Pheaktra, environment ministry secretary of state.

“It is critical now more than ever for us to give back to nature from daily practices like reducing, reusing and recycling and saying-no to the consumption of bush meat. We must reduce our negative impact on the natural environment, and increase our involvement in protecting it. One way we can do this is by investing in renewable energy alternatives to help protect Cambodia’s biodiversity and ecosystems,” he added.

This year’s Earth Hour will be held under theme “Step Up, Build Back Better”. It is the fourteenth Earth Hour the Kingdom has marked.

Top Sopheak, secretary of state at the tourism ministry, said that doing business as usual is no longer sufficient, but efforts must be stepped up.

“Public health, social inclusion and biodiversity conservation are among the most critical components for Cambodia and societies around the world to adopt for a resilient recovery. Responsible tourism practices can help tourism companies and communities build back better,” he added.

WWF-Cambodia country director Seng Teak said nature is our best ally to counteract the effects of climate change and create a sustainable future because nature and biodiversity make life possible, while providing health and socioeconomic benefits.

“Restoring nature and biodiversity loss offers a win-win solution to saving our environment and protecting people’s wellbeing,” he added