BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
A THIRD of the capital was shrouded in darkness yesterday as Brunei joined the global community to celebrate the Earth Hour, pledging its support for environmental protection movements.
In line with this, four landmarks; Masjid Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien, Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha Bridge, Yayasan Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah and the Taman Mahkota Jubli Emas had their lights switched off.
Families and friends flocked to the Taman Mahkota Jubli Emas to enjoy the scene with what little light they had, with some wearing glow-in-the-dark decorations to blend in with the event.
Earth Hour Brunei’s Corporate Communication Nurasilah Ayuni Adanan told The Bruneian that besides encouraging people to save energy, this year’s Earth Hour was also aimed at connecting the dots between climate change and biodiversity.
This is directed especially towards forest protection, as ecosystems existing in them plays a role in helping countries to combat climatic changes.
“The ecosystems and everything in it plays a role in providing clean air, food and water, and without them, everything will fall apart.”
This is also in line with World Wildlife Federation’s (WWF’s) aim in incorporating such awareness to the Earth Hour this year, who, for the first time, invited people to talk about what nature meant to them through social media posts, tagging them with the hashtag #connect2earth.
The government’s move to switch off streetlights alternatively, saving $3.6 million a year was also a move that is in line with the Earth Hour.
While last night’s celebration focused on the capital and several areas in Brunei Muara, Earth Hour Brunei is looking to extend the celebration to all of the four districts by next year.
Earth Hour is a trend where large cities switched off their lights to pledge for environmental protection causes.
It is a celebration that began in Sydney in 2007. To date, more than 180 countries participated in the trend to mass switch off their lights annually, including Brunei.