A press conference for the Earth Hour 2018 event was held at the Environment Ministry on March 21. Staged in front of the ministry offices, the event was jointly organised by the ministry, WWF Cambodia (World Wide Fund for Nature) and EcoLife Cambodia, with funding and support from Tiger Beer, Cellcard, and many other private companies and institutions.
WWF’s Earth Hour 2018, held on March 24, was aimed at bringing people around Cambodia and the world together to connect with environmental issues and causes. Every year it sparks open social conversations about biodiversity to make people aware of how we are a part of biodiversity and biodiversity is a part of human well-being.
Khut Chandara, undersecretary of the Environment Ministry, said Earth Hour is held to show that the ministry and the public really care for the environment and natural resources, and to remind them that they need to make an effort every day, not only for one day or for this hour.
“Environmental problems cannot be solved unless we join together. Otherwise, we all will face the consequences. We can minimise water and electricity use and plant more trees. Therefore, I hope this event will get the attention of many people, especially youth.”
According to Seng Teak, country director of WWF Cambodia, Earth Hour debuted in Sydney in 2007 aiming to raise awareness among people that they all should take action regarding global warming.
He said, “In the context of Cambodia, I’d like to take this occasion to urge all Cambodian people to stop eating and hunting wild meat. I hope to see collective action from people to contribute to wildlife protection in our country.”
“I would like to call on all my fans to participate in Earth Hour 2018 in Cambodia. Climate change is a sensitive issue for all of us. To help the Earth as well as yourself, we can plant trees and make our environment clean. For those who cannot join the event, they can switch off the electricity at their homes which is a part of joining our event,” said Meas Soksophea, a famous singer in Cambodia as well as an ambassador for Earth Hour 2018.
She urged people not to trade, eat or hunt wild meat. She hoped to see all those wildlife alive for people to see in future generations.
On the evening of March 24, there were performances from Ms Soksophea, Chhorn Sovannareach and other singers, a fashion show on biodiversity concept, and a Khmer traditional puppet show on environmental protection themes. There was also an amazing moment when the lights were turned off and replaced with thousands of candles, and a moment of silence for people to connect with the Earth and to reflect on what they can do individually to protect biodiversity, wildlife, and forests.
In Cambodia, WWF has been working for nearly two decades in collaboration with the Ministry of the Environment and other partners to protect natural resources. It has been working in the Eastern Plain Landscape to protect the forests and wildlife.