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WWF picks Davao City as Earth Hour site in Mindanao

DAVAO CITY, March 29 – The World Wide Fund (WWF) has picked Davao City as Earth Hour site in Mindanao at 8:30 p.m. until 9:30 p.m. on March 31.

Greg Yan, WWF-Philippines Earth Hour communications head, said SM City Davao will be the main switch-off site for Mindanao with WWF–Philippine National Ambassador Marc Nelson to host the switch-off.

He said Davao City is one of the three cities picked by WWF as switch-off sites on Saturday. The other cities are Makati and Cebu.

WWF is the world’s largest and most experienced conservation organization operating in over 100 countries.

Yan said as a three-time Earth Hour champion and an official Earth Hour “Hero Country” the world will look on the Philippines for its Earth Hour on March 31 when the world celebrates this year’s Earth Hour.

“The world will be watching us for Earth Hour,” he said.

The Philippines became the top Earth Hour country in terms of town and city participation with 647 Philippine towns and cities to have joined in 2009. It regained its title in 2010 with 1,076 Philippine towns and cities participated and a record breaking 1,661 participation in 2011, making the country as three-time Earth Hour champion.

Yan said the one-hour Davao City Earth Hour is in collaboration with SM Supermalls, the Green Alliance and the City Government. The switch-off at SM Davao will feature a Kadayawan-themed parade around the mall’s vicinities at 6 p.m. as black light fire dancers will woo the crowd with specialized routines in a street party once the city plunges into darkness at 8:30 p.m. until 9:30 p.m. The theme is in consonance with WWF’s aim to highlight the heritage of Filipinos during this year’s switch-off.

“The world will be watching us for Earth Hour,” he said.

Yan said WWF aims to indulge in a radical change in this year’s earth hour from previous years’ earth hour observance by urging the world to commit to do something to save planet earth.

This year’s 60+ Earth Hour logo of WWF symbolizes what the people around the world could do to save mother earth beyond 60 minutes or one hour. Alongside with this is also one’s pledge of “I will, if you will” or a personal dare with the world by asking everyone what are you willing to do to save the planet.

Lynette Lopez, SM Davao mall manager, said they are expecting many participants on this year’s earth hour after the observance became global in 2008.

In the past four years, various sectors including schools, business establishments, government institutions, etc. and numerous households joined the earth hour by switching off lights for an hour.

In a statement, Earth Hour founder and executive director Andy Ridley said that Earth Hour observance last year reached 1.8 billion people in 135 countries across the planet.

Ridley will celebrate Earth Hour 2012 in the Philippines being rewarded as “Hero Country” for Earth Hour.

In the 2009 Earth Hour observance in the Philippines, 10 million Filipinos saved at least 611 megawatt hours (MWh) of electricity, WWF data showed. (PNA)

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