Nepal goes beyond Earth hour

Posted on 26 March 2011

Kathmandu, Nepal – Earth Hour was celebrated in Nepal amidst a collage of lights, music and air-filled balloons, and commitments towards sustainable actions for the environment. Events were simultaneously organized at Boudhanath Stupa in Kathmandu and Lumbini Garden in Lumbini
Kathmandu, Nepal – Earth Hour was celebrated in Nepal amidst a collage of lights, music and air-filled balloons, and commitments towards sustainable actions for the environment. Events were simultaneously organized at Boudhanath Stupa in Kathmandu and Lumbini Garden in Lumbini.

In Kathmandu, the Earth Hour event saw the active participation of youth and representatives from the government, diplomatic missions, conservation partners and civil society. Mr. Yubaraj Bhusal, Secretary of Ministry of Forests and Soil Conservation, formally announced the Earth Hour pledge of the government to celebrate 2011 as Plant Holiday. “As a key program under Plant Holiday, the Government of Nepal will take active steps to completely stop tree felling in Churiya, protected forests and areas, and government managed forests,” stated Mr. Bhusal in his address.

Key environmental messaging by Mr. Gagan Thapa, Constituent Assembly Member, Ms. Sadichha Shrestha, Miss Nepal 2010 and WWF’s Young Conservation Ambassador, and Dr. Ghana Gurung, Conservation Program Director at WWF Nepal called upon individuals and organizations alike to take proactive steps to protect the environment.

As a thousand butter lamps lit up the night sky, Salil Subedi and Earth Beat engaged the audience in an uplifting performance of didgeridoo and drums.

Coinciding with the Earth Hour event in Kathmandu, the event in Lumbini, the birthplace of Lord Buddha, was led by Lumbini Development Trust in partnership with WWF Nepal. As an Earth Hour pledge, Lumbini Development Trust announced the plantation of 108,000 saplings in Lumbini Garden, declaration of Lumbini Core Garden as a non-smoking and plastic-free zone, and switching towards energy efficient lights (CFL) in all monasteries within the Garden complex. Set against the backdrop of the Maya Devi Temple, an Earth Prayer was recited by monks from five different nations in dedication to the one thing that binds us all – our planet.

Rajendra Thapa Magar, Member Secretary of Lumbini Development Trust, stated that this initiative would help to promote environmentally sustainable actions in Lumbini and its surroundings. Mr. Anil Manandhar, Country Representative of WWF Nepal added, “Earth Hour is not just about the 60 minutes of solidarity for the environment. This year, Earth Hour will go beyond the hour, marking a moment where every individual, government and business can make their commitment to environmentally sustainable actions for the forthcoming year.”

Earth Hour is a global initiative in partnership with WWF. Earth Hour 2011 aims to show the actions that people, businesses and governments are taking across the globe to reduce their environmental impact; thereby establishing and encouraging others to join an interconnected global community engaged in dialogue and resource sharing that generates real solutions to environmental challenges.

Nepal celebrates earth hour 2011 in Boudhanath Stupa
© WWF Nepal/ Bikash Karki
60+ logo created by the traditional butter lamps
© WWF Nepal/ Bikash Karki
Lumbini Development Trust announced the plantation of 108,000 saplings in Lumbini Garden
© WWF Nepal / Akash Shrestha