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People urged to observe Earth Hour

By Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, March 20 � As part of WWF�s Earth Hour initiative where citizens around the globe pledge their support for action on climate change by turning off lights for one hour, WWF-India�s Assam and Arunachal Pradesh State Office has appealed to all the State governments, NGOs, corporates, and civil society of the region to support the cause by switching off the lights in their houses, office premises and other commercial establishments for an hour from 8-30 pm to 9-30 pm on March 27.

Over 4,000 cities and towns across the world will turn off their lights for an hour, sending a powerful message that it is possible to take action on climate change and global warming.

With the effects of climate change now palpable, Earth Hour holds lots of significance for the North-east, as promoting sustainable habits vis-�-vis energy consumption can go a long way towards mitigating an impending catastrophe.

�The North-east being a global biodiversity hotspot, is also very vulnerable to the harmful effects of climate change and its regional manifestations. The region has experienced adverse effects of the change in the last decade with scanty rainfall, extreme cold, prolonged summer with abnormally high temperatures, changes in phonological cycle of some plant species, increase in the intensity of floods and siltation, rising incidence in tropical diseases like malaria, encephalitis, etc.,� Dr Surajit Baruah, State coordinator of WWF-India (Assam and Arunachal Pradesh) said, adding that all this was being accelerated manifold by anthropogenic drivers like unabated deforestation, unplanned developmental activities, population explosion, open cast coal mining, increase in greenhouse gases through industries and rising vehicular emissions, lack of proper sewage and solid waste management, etc.

Underscoring the need for taking up long-term scientific assessment of the emerging problems of climate change and its impact in the region by governments, policy makers, academics and research institutions, Dr Baruah said that equally urgent was the need for a massive awareness programme for mitigating the global change through sustainable actions by all sections of the society.

�The target groups for Earth Hour are all sections of the society in general and the urban upper and middle classes in particular who can express solidarity for pressing a global issue like climate change through this voluntary act. The vent is for everyone who is willing to make a small contribution for the planet we live on,� Dr Baruah said.

Earth Hour 2009 was hugely successful in 2009, reaching millions of people across the globe. In India, five million people in 56 cities switched off their lights on that day. The event could engage over six lakh students, two lakh in Delhi alone. An amount of 1,000 MW of power was saved in one hour, 600 MW in Delhi alone.

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People urged to observe Earth Hour

GUWAHATI, March 20 � As part of WWF�s Earth Hour initiative where citizens around the globe pledge their support for action on climate change by turning off lights for one hour, WWF-India�s Assam and Arunachal Pradesh State Office has appealed to all the State governments, NGOs, corporates, and civil society of the region to support the cause by switching off the lights in their houses, office premises and other commercial establishments for an hour from 8-30 pm to 9-30 pm on March 27.

Over 4,000 cities and towns across the world will turn off their lights for an hour, sending a powerful message that it is possible to take action on climate change and global warming.

With the effects of climate change now palpable, Earth Hour holds lots of significance for the North-east, as promoting sustainable habits vis-�-vis energy consumption can go a long way towards mitigating an impending catastrophe.

�The North-east being a global biodiversity hotspot, is also very vulnerable to the harmful effects of climate change and its regional manifestations. The region has experienced adverse effects of the change in the last decade with scanty rainfall, extreme cold, prolonged summer with abnormally high temperatures, changes in phonological cycle of some plant species, increase in the intensity of floods and siltation, rising incidence in tropical diseases like malaria, encephalitis, etc.,� Dr Surajit Baruah, State coordinator of WWF-India (Assam and Arunachal Pradesh) said, adding that all this was being accelerated manifold by anthropogenic drivers like unabated deforestation, unplanned developmental activities, population explosion, open cast coal mining, increase in greenhouse gases through industries and rising vehicular emissions, lack of proper sewage and solid waste management, etc.

Underscoring the need for taking up long-term scientific assessment of the emerging problems of climate change and its impact in the region by governments, policy makers, academics and research institutions, Dr Baruah said that equally urgent was the need for a massive awareness programme for mitigating the global change through sustainable actions by all sections of the society.

�The target groups for Earth Hour are all sections of the society in general and the urban upper and middle classes in particular who can express solidarity for pressing a global issue like climate change through this voluntary act. The vent is for everyone who is willing to make a small contribution for the planet we live on,� Dr Baruah said.

Earth Hour 2009 was hugely successful in 2009, reaching millions of people across the globe. In India, five million people in 56 cities switched off their lights on that day. The event could engage over six lakh students, two lakh in Delhi alone. An amount of 1,000 MW of power was saved in one hour, 600 MW in Delhi alone.