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Fiji commits to climate change fight

Nasik Swami
Sunday, March 24, 2013

LIGHTS went off for an hour at most places in Suva last night as Fiji became the first in the world to commemorate Earth Hour.

And hundreds joined the worthy cause at the Fiji Development Bank foreshore in Suva from 8.30pm to 9.30pm to show their support for the global event.

Earth Hour is a global grass-roots movement encouraging individuals, businesses and governments around the world to take positive actions for the environment by switching off lights for an hour.

World Wildlife Fund South Pacific communications manager Patricia Mallam said the world was led by the small island nation of Fiji in committing to a sustainable future for our planet by switching off all non-essential lights for Earth Hour.

Ms Mallam said islands in the Pacific were most at risk to the effects of climate change, especially rising sea levels.

"Disappearing coastlines, relocating communities and diminishing sources of fresh water are just a few catastrophes that are becoming increasingly common in the islands," she said.

And as scary as the reality of climate change might be, Ms Mallam said Fijians and Pacific islanders were not giving up their island homes easily and were not sitting idle.

"Instead, they are leading the global community in making a commitment by being the first in the world to switch off all non-essential lights to observe Earth Hour," she said.

Also, Fiji celebrated its commitment towards Earth Hour by hosting the planet's first ever Earth Hour Night Ride, where at least two hundred cyclists took to the streets of Suva with only energy efficient lights to guide them.

Earth Hour is described as the world's largest movement for the planet.

Earth Hour began in one city in 2007 when more than two million individuals and two thousand businesses in Sydney, Australia, turned off their lights for one hour on Saturday on March 31 to take a stand on climate change.





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