Like other parts of the world, residents of Islamabad marked Earth Hour 2012 in full spirit on Saturday night, where they lit candles at a ceremony arranged in front of the National Assembly.
The event was organised by the Ministry of National Disaster Management in collaboration with World Wide Fund for Nature Pakistan.
As many as 500 people from all walks of life attended the ceremony, which aimed to spread awareness on energy conservation, climate change and global warming.
The proceedings began by switching off the lights of the NA building at exactly 8:30pm, following which the participants, comprising government officials, civil society activists and a large number of students, lit candles.
The lights of President House, National Assembly, Supreme Court, National Monument, CDA buildings, 7th Avenue, 9th Avenue, and streetlights of the city were also switched off on the occasion.
Addressing the participants, Senate Deputy Speaker and PPP leader Sabir Balouch said, “Earth Hour is observed across the world every year to create awareness on the importance of energy conservation, which is the need of the hour as far as Pakistan is concerned.”
Responding to a question on the relevance of Earth Hour in Pakistan, where people are already faced with up to 18 hours of loadshedding, the senator, as usual, put the blame on previous governments for failing to come up with a long-term energy policy.
Meanwhile, a concert by Uzair Jaswal was also organised by Roots College Islamabad G-8 Metropolitan Campus, where around 150 to 200 students lit oil-lamps (diyas) as a mark of saving the environment.
While talking to The Express Tribune, Waleed, bassist of a local band, appreciated Roots’ initiative to involve the youth in spreading awareness on environmental protection.
Responding to a question regarding Earth Hour and loadshedding, he said the two were mutually exclusive and the environment needs to be saved regardless of the fact that people are facing power shortage.
Roots School System Rawalpindi Principal Kulsoom Tanvir said children participate in Earth Hour every year and it is great to see the enthusiastic response from them.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 1st, 2012.