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2018 Earth Hour to highlight biodiversity protection

World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Philippines is set to kick off the country's 2018 Earth Hour celebration next month, focusing on protecting biodiversity from climate change.

Earth Hour, an annual global grassroots movement of WWF Philippines' mother organization WWF, hopes to inspire and empower individuals, organizations and governments on taking tangible action for Earth.

The kick-off will mainly focus on WWF's new global campaign #Connect2Earth, which targets promoting discussions on biodiversity.

"Earth Hour’s new theme moves us to respond collectively and #Connect2Earth, as we help strengthen awareness on biodiversity and climate action," WWF said.

For this year, WWF said the Philippines' Earth Hour celebration would start at 7 p.m. on Saturday (March 24) at Cultural Center of the Philippines' (CCP) grounds.

The country's actual main lights-out event, marking Earth Hour, would be from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on the same day there, WWF said.

Plunging into darkness for one hour targets helping raise awareness about need for action to protect biodiversity from climate change's impacts, noted WWF.

Experts already cited increasing onslaught of extreme weather events as well as sea level and temperature rise as climate change's impacts on the Philippines.

According to WWF, the Philippines' participation in Earth Hour over the years yielded several results.

WWF cited actions beyond the annual lights-out event, which included deployment of portable solar lamps to replace dangerous and dirty kerosene lamps in Palawan and Mindoro provinces.

There were also sharing of best community practices and dissemination of climate change solutions, WWF added.

Commencing in 2007 as a symbolic event in Sydney, WWF said Earth Hour emerged to become the world's largest grassroots environmental movement.

Over 7,000 cities as well as 180 countries and territories already participated in Earth Hour, WWF said.

Catherine Teves / PNA