Muscat: The Environment Society of Oman (ESO), a non-governmental organisation (NGO) that has been officially accredited by the United Nations General Assembly, launched this year's Earth Hour campaign with its key partners and stakeholders across the Sultanate yesterday.
The campaign aims to raise awareness on the importance of climate change and energy conservation. ESO will be reaching out to the general public, and targeting schools and youths as well as government and private institutions during a week-long media campaign to educate people on the issues related to the use of water and power resources.
During the week leading up to Earth Hour on March 23 at 8:30 p.m., ESO volunteers and members will be profiled in the media, speaking about global warming challenges and solutions and energy-saving facts, so as to further inspire people to do more than just switch off unnecessary electrical outlets.
On the occasion, ESO Executive Director Lamees Abdallah Daar said, "Climate change, and specifically global warming, has caught the attention of people worldwide more than any other environmental problem in history. Our role is vital in discussing such an important cause at a national level, no matter how big or small our contribution as a society may be."
She added, "Oman saved more than 53,000 kilowatts of electricity during Earth Hour 2012. Our goal for the coming years is to combine our efforts with corporate and government entities to further advocate the conservation of more energy through simple steps that will lead to a promising sustainable environment for future generations."
The national campaign will include a public event on Earth Hour day from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at InterContinental Hotel Muscat Gardens. ESO will speak about its role in fighting climate change in Oman and will offer information about Earth Hour. 'The Freezing Omanis' will share their experiences on their Antarctic journey during the event.
In addition, visitors and attendees will have the opportunity to light candles with ESO volunteers and create a glow-in-the-dark handprint artwork on a large blackboard, whilst being entertained by an artistic performance.
ESO's national campaign will include the global challenge titled 'I Will If You Will', encouraging local companies and individuals to sign a pledge on ESO's official Facebook page and website. ESO staff and board members will join hands with Muscat Municipality in a spring clean-up if they reach 2,000 pledges.
ESO will be joining forces with millions of people worldwide for the fourth consecutive year during Earth Hour on March 23. The global initiative 'I Will If You Will' is the campaign's slogan for 2013 to further encourage positive action for the environment beyond the hour.
In 2012, more than 7,000 cities and towns in 152 countries and territories switched off their lights, making it the largest campaign in history. Earth Hour is a worldwide event organised by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), which was conceived by WWF and Leo Burnett.
The event first took place in 2007, when 2.2 million residents of Sydney, Australia, participated by turning off all non-essential lights. Following Sydney's lead, many other cities around the world adopted the event in 2008, and the movement has been growing ever since.
People are invited to visit www.earthhour.org for further information.