Every year, 4.7 million hectares of forests are destroyed (proportional to the size of Denmark); 2.3 billion people live in areas experiencing water stress (water scarcity); and the last six years have been the warmest on record since 1880, as a result of climate variations. These are some figures from the United Nations (UN) that highlight the fragility of our planet and the limitations experienced by our natural resources.
Along with these disagreements, there are initiatives of all kinds to counteract the effects of the deterioration and destruction of the Earth. One of these is Earth Hour, a movement initiated in 2007 by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), which consists of turning off the lights of buildings and monuments from 8:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the evening, and from 8:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the afternoon, and monuments from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., to raise awareness about the protection of our natural resources.
The pandemic measures did not detract from the strength of this year’s initiative, as thousands of infrastructures were dark for one hour on Saturday, March 27, including the Eiffel Tower (France), the Colosseum in Rome (Italy), the Vatican City, Buckingham Palace (England), and the Canal Administration Building (Panama).
Fortunately, Earth Hour is one of several initiatives to raise awareness and act wisely. For example, UN figures show that globally 32% of people work professionally in reforestation programs, 30% have joined reforestation programs on a voluntary basis, and 25% have changed their consumption patterns to more sustainable ones. The figures, while laudable, show that a transition to more aggressive environmental policies that include financial investment as well as awareness programs is still lacking. The important thing is that we keep moving forward. As long as there is awareness for the protection of our planet, there is hope.
Hopefully, next Earth Hour, on Saturday, March 26, 2022, we can gather at the foot of the Administration Building, as is tradition, to renew our energies for our Earth.