As millions of people in countries around the globe participated in the global movement last night, Brunei was no stranger to the campaign and has been participating since 2010.
The initiative is managed by WWF (World Wide Fund For Nature) and hopes to “inspire millions to take action for our world”. Earth Hour started in 2007 in Sydney, Australia and became the first nation to turn off the lights for the annual campaign.
“Climate change is a major threat to the stability of the planet and our livelihood and society, but climate change is only a component of the broader ecological crisis,” said Marco Lambertini, director general of Earth Hour organizers WWF.
The Earth Hour Brunei team held their 8th installment of the movement at the Taman Mahkota Jubli Emas and showcased the Earth Hour campaign to the public. The Sultanate’s most iconic mosque, the Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien as well as the recently inaugurated Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha Bridge (Sungai Kebun Bridge) and about three quarters of the capital dimmed at 8:30 PM.
“We wanted to create more awareness about the campaign and the importance of why we (Bruneians) should participate in this crusade,” said Sheikh Jamaluddin Sheikh Mohamed, the Earth Hour Country Ambassador for Brunei in an exclusive interview with Sutera last night.
“Brunei’s main export is the oil and gas and whether we like it or not, we contribute a lot to the ozone layer strain,” Sheikh Jamaluddin continued.
Sheikh Jamaluddin also highlighted the importance of the small things that many of the public can do to reduce the nation’s daily energy consumption.
“Even the smallest things like, switching off your lights or air-conditioner when you go out can have a monumental effect on the environment.
“By creating these kind of awareness, we can slowly help to conserve the energy around the nation,” said the former Director of the Brunei Tourism Board.
This year, the Earth Hour movement focuses on the support for bio-diversity – such as rainforest, wildlife and ocean conservation, and Brunei are amongst the nations in South East Asia well known for it’s pristine rainforests.
“This is our home, and this our planet, so we all have a responsibility to take care of it.
“And in order for us to strive further for our next generation, we need everyone’s help and someday we hope we can inspire the whole country to take part of the movement,” Sheikh Jamaluddin concluded.