THIS year, Brunei's Kg Ayer Cultural and Tourism Gallery will turn off its lights to show the Sultanate's official inaugural participation in Earth Hour. But that's just the beginning.
Bruneians are urged to take small steps to prove their commitment to energy saving, said an Earth Hour representative yesterday.
Pg Sarimah Pg Hj Abd Latiff told The Brunei Times that Earth Hour was not just about people switching off their lights for that one hour. Observing energy saving habits should be a round-the-clock effort.
"Energy conservation is all about switching off non-essential lights. For example, if I want to watch a soccer match on TV, I can switch off all lights around except for the TV. Also, rather than having our air-conditioners switched on all the time in our house, we can spend an hour a day switching all of them off except one," she explained.
The Earth Hour representative, who will be collaborating with other youth groups to mark Earth Hour on March 27, said that awareness and education played a key role in efforts to save energy in the country.
"Even for schools, we encourage all of them to have energy clubs," she said.
Pg Sarimah said she was proud and excited to be a part of this event observed worldwide.
This will be the first time that Brunei will participate in the Earth Hour initiative which was started in 2007 in Sydney, Australia when 2.2 million homes and businesses turned their lights off for one hour to make their stand against climate change.
"Although we are one of the last two countries in the Asia-Pacific to join Earth Hour, we want the world to recognise that we (Brunei) is committed and that we care for the environment and climate change," she said.
Earth Hour representative Sherlly Tanara from Beach Bunch, said she would be taking part in the initiative because as a youth group, she wanted to collaborate with other groups.
"Earth Hour being initiated in Brunei is a very big step. However, it is not the number of people that turn up that will make a difference, but what we hope is for the event to be a milestone for people to be continuously reminded about energy saving," she said.
Aniza Ishak, also an Earth Hour representative from the Brunei Adventure Recreation Club (Bara) said the reason why she decided to take part on March 27 was because it was Brunei's first time joining the world in the initiative.
"This event will make a big impact and (hopefully) raise the awareness we expect among the public. I hope to see a few thousand people turn up at Kampung Ayer on that day," she said.
Aniza added she hoped people, particularly the youth, would realise that everyone could help save energy "just by switching off a light". "Hopefully, this will take effect for the long run, because the youth are our future and if we keep energy conservation up, it will impact our future generations."
Another Earth Hour representative, Hj Suhaili Hj Abd Hamid from the Society for the Management of Autism Related Issues in Training, Education and Resources (Smarter) said he took part because they (groups involved) were keen on supporting anything to do with the environment.
"As a non-profit organisation, we depend on people's financial contribution to support us. (In this regard), we practice saving electricity and we hope the public will do the same as well," he said.
Pg Sarimah related that as the Kg Ayer gallery could only accommodate 50 to 80 people, the public could witness Earth Hour at the banks of the river.
Other NGOs whose members intend to collaborate with the youth groups during Earth Hour, can contact the groups at www.earthhour.org.bn.
At 8.30pm on March 27, some of the world's most recognised symbols of hope, peace, human endeavour and natural wonders will plunge into darkness for Earth Hour, as a powerful sign of the unrelenting resolve of the global community to respond to the threat of climate change.
Kg Ayer Cultural and Tourism Gallery will join CN Tower in Toronto, Table Mountain in Cape Town, Grand Palace in Bangkok and the world's tallest building, Taipei 101, in going dark for Earth Hour.
In a press statement, Earth hour Co-Founder and Executive Director Andy Ridley said actions shown by cities of the world and their inhabitants were crucial to leading a low-carbon resolution to climate change.
"By turning the lights off at their landmarks for Earth Hour, cities are reflecting the aspirations of their citizens as a community that has resolved to take action on global warming," he said.
Earth Hour is a global World Wide Fund (WWF) climate change initiative, which began in Sydney in 2007.
In 2008, more than 50 million people around the globe took part, and in 2009, participation swelled to hundreds of millions as 4, 189 cities, towns and municipalities in 88 countries, and many of the world's best known landmarks got involved. The Brunei Times
Saturday, March 20, 2010
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