BY PMA RASHEED
The Gulf Today,
29 March 2010
EARTH Hour 2010, which took place on Saturday between 8.30 to 9.30pm, has grown at a phenomenal rate this year, according to an official at the Emirates Wildlife Society (EWS).
"The campaign aimed at highlighting the possibilities for change when we united and worked together," said Ida Tillisch, director of business development and marketing at the EWS-WWF.
"The entire UAE has experienced the passion, inspiration and hope from thousands of people coming together to send a message," she said.
She explained, "It also would help develop governmental policies for the conservation of environment and regulations for effective energy saving in the country. Together we can achieve the meaningful emission reduction necessary to fight climate change."
"More than ever before, social media was a powerful force in spreading the message of Earth Hour. About 74.6 million Earth Hour mentions have been recorded on Google within 24 hours from across the world," revealed Tillisch.
"The most discussed worldwide trending topic on Twitter for most of the 24 hours, which never fell below position 7 at it's peak by 2.2 per cent of all tweets, were Earth Hour-related. Over 1,000 official Earth Hour photos were submitted from around the world," she said.
The emirate of
has saved nearly 170 kilowatt/per hour power on Saturday night by switching off the lights and other electrical appliances to observe the Earth Hour 2010. Dubai
The ratio of carbon dioxides has also been reduced by 102 thousand kilogrammes in the emirate, according to a senior official at Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA).
Saeed Al Tayer, managing director and chief executive officer of Dewa, said, "The emirate saved a total of 246,000 kilowatt power and reduced about 148,000 kilogrammes of carbon dioxide emissions, in its participation of the Earth Hour over the past two years."
"The Dewa lantern walk on Jumeira beach road during the Earth Hour witnessed participation of over 5,500 enthusiastic citizens and residents along with a big line-up of officials, institutions, schools and universities and companies, which far exceeded the numbers that participated last year," he added.
"They demonstrated their fervent concern over climate change and global warming. All the participants carried lanterns to indicate their support for the switching off of lights and cutting out needless electricity consumption and usage at their ends, during the stipulated Earth Hour," explained Al Tayer.
"The lantern walk drew resounding attention of corporate bodies, institutions and government departments to the significant role they could play in preserving the natural resources, by reducing the impact of the industrial renaissance in general," he noted.
According to him, the volunteering turnout in the march shows the extent of public awareness and collective intent upon the importance of energy conservation. A section of the Jumairah beach road was cordoned off by the police for the event.
"The walk aimed at triggering critical awareness of the negative implications of climate change calls for concerted rationalisation of energy consumption amongst one and all, to facilitate for the welfare of our future generations," he said.
The lantern walk was in collaboration with the General Department of Protective Security and Emergency of Dubai Police, Centre of Ambulance Services, Civil Defence,
, and the Roads and Transport Authority to coordinate and unify efforts while participating at the march. Dubai Municipality
Meanwhile, Dubai Customs (DC) took part in the global climate action by shutting down power at all its premises and facilities and switching off unnecessary electricity.
Feryal Tawakul, executive director of community affairs and government partnership division at the DC, said, "Besides shutting down power at all the DC premises and sections at its headquarters in Port Rashid, the outside lights were also turned off and the energy saving rate was measured during the aforementioned period."
"Necessary measures were also taken during the shutdown in order ensure business continuity taking into consideration the nature of DC business and its connection to the trade sector and the importers across the world," he added.
"Registering with the official website of the Earth Hour initiative, the DC encouraged its employees to show their support by registering with the portal individually. The department also demonstrated a common presentation about the participation in Earth Hour 2010 that was shown around the world," explained Tawakul.
Along with the Earth-Hour Dubai, there was an awareness exhibition for governmental departments and private companies, to demonstrate their efforts towards the environment.
Other governmental organisations that participated in the initiative included Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, Knowledge and Human Development Authority, General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowments, Dubai Police Academy, Freej, Modhesh, Khosa Bosa, Shabiat Al Cartoon, Jum Jum, Emirates Diving Association, Al Wasel Club, Al Naser Club, Al Ahli Club and Al Shabab Club.