Thursday, March 11, 2010

Earth Hour in CNMI

On March 27th at 8:30pm the Division of Environmental quality is encouraging CNMI residents and businesses to turn their lights off for one hour in support of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) sponsored Earth Hour event that seeks to raise awareness and promote global action on climate change.

In 2007 the city of Sydney, Australia decided to take a stand against global climate change by turning off their lights for one hour. This was the beginning of what has become the largest world wide event calling for action on climate change: Earth Hour.

Since its beginnings in Sydney, Earth Hour has grown exponentially in its scope and world wide participation. In 2009, 4,159 cities, towns, and municipalities from 88 different countries participated in the event. 100s of millions of people turned out their lights in an effort to raise awareness and promote action on climate change. In 2010 we will add the CNMI to that voice.

Being an island nation, the CNMI will be amongst the countries most affected by climate change. Due to our low elevation, rising sea levels put out buildings, homes, and infrastructure at risk. Increasing ocean temperatures threaten the health of the coral reefs that we depend on for food, tourism, and recreation. Higher probabilities of large storms and droughts stand to greatly affect our local agriculture.

Participating in Earth Hour will help to raise local awareness about the risks and causes of climate change as well as add to the global effort to convince leaders world wide that the time for action on climate change is now.

WWF and its local DEQ partners ask for community support to help spread the word about Earth Hour and to turn lights off between 8:30pm and 9:30pm on Saturday March 27th. More information can be found at earthhour.org or at our local CNMI website: earth-hour-northern-mariana-islands.blogspot.com

Interested in volunteering to help with the Earth Hour campaign? Have any great ideas or recommendations that can add to the success of Earth Hour in the CNMI? Contact Aric Bickel at aricbickel.deq.gov.mp or at 664-8513.

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