Earth Hour 2021 shines a spotlight on the perilous state of the planet, calling for urgent action to set nature on the path of recovery.
- Scientific evidence shows that nature loss is linked to an increased risk of pandemics.
- Earth Hour 2021 comes ahead of key events where decisions will be taken by world leaders on climate action, sustainable development, and nature to define our future and the future of the planet.
- To ensure public safety as COVID-19 restrictions continue in Fiji, Earth Hour will be celebrated virtually.
With evidence pointing towards a close link between nature's destruction and rising incidences of infectious disease outbreaks like COVID-19, Earth Hour 2021 will unite people online to speak up for nature. This global event comes ahead of key moments when world leaders will take critical decisions on nature, climate change and sustainable development, setting the course of our future.
The occurrence of several catastrophic incidents last year including extreme weather events, devastating wildfires and the COVID-19 outbreak highlighted that preventing nature loss is crucial for safeguarding our future. A global assessment of biodiversity targets showed that the world failed to meet the 2020 deadline for achieving the targets set for preventing nature loss a decade ago. Earth Hour marks a pivotal opportunity for civil society organisations, individuals, businesses and environmentalists to call on world leaders for setting nature on a path to recovery by 2030.
"Healthy natural ecosystems are the cornerstone of thriving, equitable and sustainable societies. Our current socio-economic models are leading to the devastating destruction of nature which is increasing our vulnerability to pandemics, accelerating climate change, and placing livelihoods at risk.'' said Marco Lambertini, Director General, WWF International. ''2021 is a crucial year for humanity. As the world tries to turn the tide and recover from the ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic and rebuild itself, we need to put nature at the centre of our recovery efforts to future proof our economies and societies. Earth Hour is a critical moment for individuals, leaders, and environmentalists to unite and call for urgent action to reverse nature loss and secure a nature-positive world by 2030.”
“Here in the Pacific and globally among Small Island Developing States where people’s wellbeing and nature are so linked together, there is an ever increasing need to recongize the value of a healthy environment and respect Mother Nature provides to all. I would like to encourage everyone to look around and see if there is something you can do to help sustain freshwater, terrestrial and marine resources and in doing so your family neighbors and communities,” said WWF-Pacific Director Mark Drew.
This year, Earth Hour is embarking on a global virtual campaign in calling on individuals, communities, businesses and leaders to speak up for nature in as many diverse and creative ways as possible. WWF-Pacific will be part of this virtual global campaign and is inviting and encouraging individuals and families to not only take part in the switch off initiative but also send in pictures of their on Earth Hour plans they have for the hour or on the day of Earth Hour. WWF-Pacific also encourages people to share their stories of why nature matters to them - or simply learn more about why climate change and nature loss are the two biggest environmental issues facing our planet today. A new digital activation will ask people around the world to switch off virtually in solidarity as the hour spreads across the globe.
In the past decade, Earth Hour has inspired global initiatives for the protection of nature, climate, and the environment, helping drive awareness, action and policy change. The movement helped in the creation of a 3.5 million hectares protected marine area in Argentina, a 2,700-hectare Earth Hour forest in Uganda, secured new legislation for the protection of seas and forests in Russia, pushed for a ban on single-use plastics and Styrofoam products in the Ecuadorian capital, and initiated the planting of 20,000 mangrove seedlings in 13 cities in Indonesia.
Visit www.earthhour.org to find out more about events happening this Earth Hour around the world.