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COVID-19 won’t stop Indonesia marking Earth Hour

News Desk

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Sat, March 28, 2020  /  12:30 pm
COVID-19 won’t stop Indonesia marking Earth Hour

High rise buildings in the Thamrin area of Central Jakarta during the annual Earth Hour campaign on March 19, 2016. (Tempo/Aditia Noviansyah)

Indonesia will mark the annual Earth Hour, when people are expected to switch off their lights for one hour, on Saturday night, but without the traditional gatherings in observance of the appeal for physical distancing in view of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Instead, the messages to help protect the Earth and slow down global warming will be relayed digitally.

“In this hour of crisis, we need to unite now more than ever to safeguard our future and the future of our planet,” World Wildlife Foundation (WWF) Indonesia acting CEO Lukas Adhyakso said in a statement.

“It is a time for solidarity and a time to respond to challenges more creatively and work more collaboratively, which is why Earth Hour is being marked through digital events across the country,” Lukas said.

The organizers have sent out messages to people, communities and businesses to join Earth Hour 2020, by turning off lights and other unnecessary electricity for one hour.

Read also: Lights out for world landmarks in nod to nature

Going by past experiences, however, few people observe Earth Hour, and most Indonesians are not even aware of the concept.

Jakarta as the Indonesian capital is about the only active participant of the campaign, turning off lights in seven public spots: City Hall, the Tugu Tani monument, the Hotel Indonesia traffic circle, the Jenderal Sudirman Statue, the Arjuna Wiwaha statue, the National Monument (Monas) and the Semanggi overpass in South Jakarta.

In 2018, the campaign saw a saving of 157 megawatts, which translated into Rp 249 million (US$17,384) in electricity costs.

In the past, to drive home the message, the organizers have held gatherings at iconic sites such as Jakarta’s National Monument (Monas) and the eighth century Buddhist Borobudur Temple in Central Java.

“Earth Hour at Home” will be held from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. local time simultaneously in 33 cities and the messages will be conveyed through Instagram Live on the campaign’s account @ehindonesia.

In the “Voice for The Planet” channel, individuals are invited to record themselves expressing their hopes and commitment to major environmental issues such as plastic waste, transportation and energy, wildlife and forests, and water and food.

“The collected community voice will be the basis and focus of work for government leaders and decision-makers, corporate leaders, institutions and organizations in responding to various environmental issues,” the Earth Hour press statement explained. (mfp)

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