Earth Hour 2020 to mobilize millions of “Voices for The Planet”
With global biodiversity declining at an unprecedented and alarming rate, up to one million species threatened with extinction and the planet on the brink of runaway global warming, it is ever more important to raise awareness that nature is the critical foundation of a healthy planet and an immediate, powerful and cost-effective solution to climate disaster.
“The services provided by nature are estimated to be worth US$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,” said Marco Lambertini, Director General, WWF International.
Hence 2020 is a critical year for nature. This year key political decisions will be taken on climate action, sustainable development and nature and these decisions will affect the health of our planet and our own future for decades to come.
In doing so, Earth Hour 2020 millions of people around the world are invited to sign their support online at Voice for the Planet. These signatures will be later presented to world leaders in global forums such as the United Nations General Assembly to help secure a New Deal for Nature and People to address nature loss, reverse environmental decline, and safeguard our all our futures.
For WWF-Pacific, despite this being a time of unprecedented and great challenge - in the midst of a global health crisis due to the outbreak of the COVID-19, we are deeply saddened by the loss of lives from this outbreak and our thoughts are with the families who have lost loved ones or who are fighting this virus. And while our work cannot stop, we must be sensitive and empathetic to the ongoing situation which differs from country to country especially here in the Pacific.
“COVID 19 has brought nations to a standstill, caused the loss of many loved ones and still poses a threat to the livelihoods of many communities across the Pacific and planet. WWF Pacific encourages everyone to use this year’s Earth Hour to not only reflect on the diminishing state of nature and biodiversity but what we as individuals can do as a collective to turn the tide which threatens to inundate the well-being of future generations.”
“In solidarity, WWF Pacific also asks that’s this year’s Earth Hour be used to dedicate a minute of silence to those families across the planet who have been impacted by the COVID virus,” said Francis Areki, Conservation Director, WWF-Pacific.
Without recognising its benefits, people have taken more and more from nature, with human activity altering landscapes and ecosystems beyond recognition; polluting waterways, filling the oceans with plastic waste and destroying biodiversity on an unprecedented scale.
It’s vital that we reverse this loss of nature. And it’s vital that we restore the rich biodiversity - the variety of life on Earth and places where they live - that underpins a healthy natural world and our lives.
So this is also a great opportunity to encourage Pacific Islanders to connect to nature and recognize why nature matters and a call for action to self- reflect and recognize the multiple benefits and values derived from the “free ecological goods and services” that continues to be provided by nature and how our planet is at cross roads faced with challenges, if we continue to passively allow our unsustainable actions to continue.
This year, Pacific Islanders can make simple contributions by being part of shaping history and our future by raising their voice for nature in 2020 at earthhour.org/voice; switching off their non-essential lights and all other unnecessary electrical appliances during Earth Hour and beyond; saying no to single-use plastics and to even planting a mangrove seedling or native tree species.
This Earth Hour, we need everyone who understands this vital truth to elevate nature loss to a global audience and help spark millions of conversations to create real, tangible change. We must stop the destruction of nature on which our health, happiness and prosperity depend. #NatureMatters #Connect2Earth