Kazakhstan to Go Dark for the Environment

Turn out the lights for 60 minutes. Pledge to save the planet for a lifetime.

Kazakhstan will join 161 countries and territories around the world March 28 for Earth Hour, a global commitment organised by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). By flicking the switch to the off position at 8:30 p.m. local time, the nation and its residents will demonstrate their commitment to reducing carbon emissions.

In addition to the symbolic action, Kazakh citizens will have an opportunity to participate in programmes supported by the Association for the Conservation of Biodiversity of Kazakhstan (ACBK), according to Forbes Kazakhstan. The initiative was announced last month by the Sustainable Development Earth Fund.

“Before Earth Hour, when people around the world switch off the lights in their homes as a sign of concern for the planet, it remains active for little more than a month. It is during this month that everyone can support any of the five projects, events and information which is on the site www.acbk.kz,” organisation’s president Alan Bessen was quoted in the Forbes article. “The projects are designed to not only help preserve the biological diversity of Kazakhstan, but also to teach people how to live in harmony with the environment.”

The nation participated for the fifth time last year, when approximately 1,000 urban sites went illumination-less in support of the worldwide campaign, reported kznewsline.com. From the Akorda presidential residence, Baiterek monument, Central Mosque, Catholic Cathedral and many skyscrapers in Astana to the Koktobe TV tower, skyscrapers and other large buildings in Almaty, numerous structures throughout the country were darkened.

Using the motto “the whole world for one planet,” Earth Hour will begin when the lights in the Khan Shatyr trade centre and more than 100 iconic buildings in Kazakhstan and Central Asia will go dark, said Forbes.

The event will be attended by local officials and has the support of the Department of Green Economy of the Kazakh Ministry of Energy, the Committee for Forestry and Fauna of the Ministry of Agriculture and the akimats (governors’ and mayors’ offices) of 14 oblasts (regions), as well as Astana and Almaty.

Begun in Sydney, Australia in 2007, Earth Hour has grown into an international campaign on the final Saturday of March, which last year involved in excess of two billion people in more than 7,000 cities, according to its website, www.earthhour.org. Individuals, organisations, municipalities and commercial establishments throughout Kazakhstan and the world that care about environmental issues are encouraged to spend the hour this year seeing by candlelight rather than electricity.

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