By Mehdi Garshasbi

Earth Hour 2021: stop taking nature for granted

March 27, 2021 - 11:16

Earth Hour is an annual tradition in which people switch off their lights to spread awareness about sustainability and climate change.

Started by the World Wildlife Fund in 2007, it takes place on the last Saturday of the month of March from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. local time.

Like last year, the event this year will be strictly virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with people showing their support on social media.

"Protecting nature is our moral responsibility but losing it also increases our vulnerability to pandemics, accelerates climate change, and threatens our food security," WWF International Director General Marco Lambertini said in a press release. "We must stop taking nature for granted, respect its intrinsic value, and — importantly — value the crucial services it provides to our health, wellbeing, and economy."

In Iran, the event was first celebrated in 2011 by turning lights off on Tehran’s landmark Milad Tower.

COVID-19 effect

The COVID-19 outbreak has caused many problems for the world, but in return gave the planet's environment and biodiversity a chance to breathe. The high mortality rate may be worrisome, but it provided us with the opportunity to think more about how we should treat biodiversity in a better way.

In this line, measures such as supporting zero-emission technologies and infrastructure, reducing fossil fuel subsidies, stopping new coal plants, and promoting nature-based solutions – including large-scale landscape restoration and reforestation – must be prioritized. 

Similarly, changes in the consumer behavior can help strengthen climate action, through various means such as promoting cycling and car-sharing, making housing more energy-efficient, and reducing food waste. Let’s stop taking nature for granted.

Photo: Tehran’s landmark Milad Tower goes dark each year on Earth Hour.

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