Posted on 31 March 2012
– Five corporate partners, seven musicians, 20 monasteries and over 5,000 youth–Earth Hour 2012 was supposedly the biggest ever for Nepal since 2010.
On 31 March, WWF-Nepal organized two simultaneous events in Basantapur Durbar Square in Kathmandu and the Sacred Garden in Lumbini to mark Earth Hour 2012. The highlight this year was the Million Tree Project in Lumbini which was initiated on Earth Hour in 2011 in partnership with Lumbini Development Trust. With an ambitious plan to plant one million trees in Lumbini by 2020, that is 100,000 trees each year, five leading financial institutions of the country – Laxmi Bank, Siddhartha Bank, Bank of Kathmandu, Nepal Investment Bank and Nabil Bank – partnered with WWF-Nepal on the occasion of Earth Hour to contribute to this year’s target.
“No one organization or individual can address the mammoth environmental challenges we face. With climate change posing both environmental and serious human problems, we need innovative solutions now more so than ever with Nepal ranked as one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change,” stated Mr. Suman Joshi, CEO of Laxmi Bank Ltd. “The partnership between Laxmi Bank and WWF is a fine example of how the private sector and an INGO can come together in a noble act,” he added.
WWF-Nepal also brought together Buddhist monks from 20 different monasteries in Lumbini who led a special prayer session, ‘A Prayer for the Earth’, on the occasion of Earth Hour. The prayer session, which lasted for one hour, had each monastery lead individual prayers that merged into a single one as a finale to the event.
"Worldwide, Nepal is recognized because of Lumbini, the birthplace of Lord Buddha. It is therefore our duty to protect and preserve this sacred site which, apart from being an important pilgrimage site, supports a rich and diverse natural ecosystem,” remarked Venerable Maitri Mahastavir, Spiritual Advisor of Lumbini Development Trust. “Through Earth Hour, we want to promote the message of conservation – starting with Lumbini and travelling beyond its borders – as the way of life for human beings not just in Nepal but across the world,” he added.
In Kathmandu, the Earth Hour event which featured a live performance by Nepal’s finest in fusion, Resa Fusion, attracted about 5,000 youth. The guests of honor for the event, Mr. Krishna Gyawali, Secretary of the Ministry of Environment, and Honorable Gagan Thapa, Constituent Assembly Member, appealed to the youth to take the lead in shaping the future of Nepal’s conservation endeavors through individual as well as collective actions, both big and small.
At the event, WWF-Nepal also took the opportunity to announce a new youth campaign titled The Generation Green scheduled to be launched in late 2012. The five-year Generation Green campaign aims to build a supporter base of 500,000 youth in Nepal–the future ambassadors of WWF–who will be actively engaged in conservation and environment protection programs.
“On Earth Hour this year, thousands of Nepalese joined the global movement to help protect the planet,” stated Mr. Anil Manandhar, Country Representative of WWF-Nepal. “With each passing year, we hope to engage new sectors and audiences. On Earth Hour this year, we take pride in having planted the first seedlings of a sustainable partnership with the corporate sector and the youth of Nepal both of whom are key actors in our mission to build a living planet,” he added.