Friday, March 22, 2013


     Jakarta, March 22, 2013 (Antara) - The Indonesian people - from the country's western-most province of Aceh on Sumatra Island to Gorontalo on Sulawesi Island - are expected to support Earth Hour campaign to save Planet Earth.
    Earth Hour is a worldwide event organized by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and held towards the end of March annually, encouraging households and businesses to turn off their non-essential lights for one hour to raise awareness about the need to take action on climate change.

        The movement 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.
       WWF Indonesia, the national coordinator of Earth Hour, has announced that more than 30 cities in Indonesia will participate in Earth Hour 2013 on Saturday (March 23) by turning off the lights for one hour, starting at 8.30 pm until 9.30 pm.
        The cities will include Banda Aceh (Aceh Province), Medan (North Sumatra), Pekanbaru (Riau), Jabodetabek (Jakarta, Bogor, Depok, Tanggerang and Bekasi), Bandung, Cimahi (West Java), Semarang, Solo (Central Java), Yogyakarta, Surabaya, Malang, Kota Batu, Sidoarjo, Kediri, Gresik, Lamongan, Bojonegoro (East Java), Denpasar (Bali), Pontianak (West Kalimantan), Palangka Raya (Central Kalimantan), Banjarmasin (South Kalimantan), Balikpapan, Samarinda, Sangatta, Tarakan (East Kalimantan), Kotamobagu(North Sulawesi), Sorowako, and Makassar (South Sulawesi).
         "Thanks to the increasing public campaigns particularly on the social media networks, Earth Hour has been able to attract more Indonesian cities to participate in the  movement that promotes  a  lifestyle change," WWF Indonesia's Climate and Energy Program Director Nyoman Iswarayoga, said in Jakarta recently.
   In 2012, Earth Hour was considered the world's largest environmental campaign as it was participated in by two billion people in 7,001 cities in 152 countries.
   Indonesia has revolutionized the way it organizes Earth Hour. The Indonesian Earth Hour team has been very active in using the Internet such as on Twitter to campaign the theme 'Ini Aksiku! Mana Aksimu?' - the localized version of Earth Hour's global "I Will If You Will" campaign.
        Thanks to the campaigns on the social media, the movement spread to 22 cities, 255 communities, 77 schools, and 44 universities in 2012, involving around one million people. In 2011, only five Indonesian cities joined Earth Hour activities.
         Cities in Indonesia saved about 526 megawatts of electricity, or Rp 800 million (US$82,400), from last year's campaign.
        This year, 14 mayors and district heads as well as five governors in Indonesia have expressed their commitment to joining Earth Hour.
        The participation of regional administrations is an indicator of the success of Earth Hour campaign in this country, Nyoman Iswarayoga said.
         WWF Indonesia has been campaigning Earth Hour in Jakarta since 2009 and supported by the Jakarta administration as a movement to make the capital city greener.
         As in the previous years, Earth Hour in Jakarta will be celebrated by turning off the lights in several iconic buildings such as the Jakarta Governor's office, the National Monument (Monas), the Hotel Indonesia (HI) Circle, the Arjuna Wiwaha fountain, and the Youth Statue.
         The lights along main boulevards such as Sudirman, Thamrin, Gatot Subroto and Rasuna Said, will also be switched off.
        The WWF Indonesia campaign coordinator for climate and energy, Verena Puspawardani, told reporters recently that the organization would not only call on the public to switch off the lights,  but also encourage them to reduce and recycle garbage, use public transportation means, and occupy public spaces like city parks.
         "Therefore, we will hold our activities, with a picnic concept, for the Earth Hour at Proklamasi Monument Park in Central Jakarta," she said as quoted by the Jakarta Post.
         Verena added that Earth Hour volunteers would conduct events in other places, like cleaning garbage from the banks of the Ciliwung River in Condet, East Jakarta, for one hour.
        "We want to show that small initiatives, like picking up garbage for one hour, can have a greater impact," she said.
         Regional administration authorities among other things in Depok (West Java) and Malang (East Java) have expressed their readiness to support Earth Hour.
         "The mayor will join us to check whether offices at the district level have also joined the campaign," Depok's coordinator for the Earth Hour, Pandu Pinandita said.
         Earth Hour Coordinator in Malang Alfian Eka said the local authorities have instructed all malls and universities in the city to turn off the lights on Saturday evening during Earth Hour.
        Besides, Malang's government offices and main streets will also be in the dark for one hour on the occasion.
         "Earth Hour is expected to help improve the public awareness of energy saving and environmental preservation," Alfian Eka said.
        In Gorontalo, northern Sulawesi Island, Quality Hotel Gorontalo will join Earth Hour and invites its guests to save the energy by switching the lights for one hour, Deddy S. Thalib, the hotel's general manager said.***4***
(f001/H-YH)(T.F001/A/F. Assegaf/A/Yosep) 22-03-2013 22:48:10

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