Bangladesh to join 'Earth Hour' for the 1st time

Dhaka (The Daily Star/ANN) - Bangladesh for the first time tonight will observe Earth Hour - a worldwide one-hour power off campaign - to support action to ensure a sustainable future for the planet.

The government, to mark the occasion, has urged all the households and businesses to turn off their non-essential lights for one hour from 8:30pm to raise awareness about the need to take action on global warming.

"We have decided to observe Earth Hour and ask the people not to use power during that time. But it is voluntary," Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury, energy adviser to the prime minister, told newsmen in the city on Thursday.

The government could save about 400 tonnes of liquid fuel and 1.6 million units of electricity if all people in the country observe the Earth Hour, said ASM Alamgir Kabir, chairman of Power Development Board.

Power Secretary Abul Kalam Azad said they have started a campaign for the event. "Letters have already been sent to all the deputy commissioners to ensure it is observed across the country."

The Earth Hour is a global event organised annually by World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) at 8:30pm on the last Saturday of March. Its aim is to highlight the charity's call on governments, organisations and individuals to pledge their commitment to tackle climate change.

The concept of Earth Hour was conceived by the WWF and The Sydney Morning Herald in 2007, when 2.2 million residents of Sydney had joined the campaign by turning off all of their non-essential lights.

Following Sydney's lead, many other cities around the world adopted the event in 2008.

Hundreds of millions of people and businesses unite each year to support the event. More than 5,200 cities and towns in 135 countries worldwide had switched off their lights for the Earth Hour 2011.

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