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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

agriculture minister vows to switch off lights during earth hour

Lyonpo Pema Gyamtsho’s house will be one of the millions to go dark for one hour today night as he participates in the Earth Hour
Today, as people around the world participate in the Earth Hour, the agriculture minister, Lyonpo Dr Pema Gamtsho, will also switch off the lights at his home from 8:30pm to 9:30 pm to mark the Earth Hour.
Speaking to Business Bhutan, the minister said he will join the international community in participating in the Earth Hour.
“Yes! I will switch off the lights during the earth hour. We have only one earth and it is the responsibility of everyone to do whatever we can to save the earth,” he said.
Earth Hour is a global initiative in partnership with World Wildlife Fund (WWF) where individuals, businesses, governments and communities around the world are invited to turn out their lights for one hour to show their support for a environmentally sustainable action.
“The gesture of switching of the lights for one hour and save energy will expand the life of our planet earth,” said Lyonpo Dr Pema Gyamtsho.
Lyonpo Dr Pema Gyamtsho joins Australian Prime Minister Gillard, UK Prime Minister David Cameron and a group of other international leaders on board for this year’s event including, Columbian President Juan Manuel Santos and Honduran President Porfirio Lobo.
A press release from the United Nations office in Thimphu said that the UN staff in Bhutan will also join hundreds and millions of people around the world to observe the Earth Hour by switching off their lights for 60 minutes.
“This is being done to send a powerful message to show support for ecological sustainability and action on climate change,” stated the press release.
However, many in Bhutan are still yet to grasp the idea of Earth Hour as many are not aware of the initiative. A 20-year-old student, Sonam Dorji, asked what earth hour is. And when explained, he says “I can’t switch off the electricity at home, I need to study.”
Like Sonam, there are many who are unaware of the Earth Hour and its importance. The assistant communications officer, Yangchi Pema of the WWF Bhutan office said the organization will mark the day with awareness campaigns.
She said WWF will coordinate with the media and inform the Bhutanese people about Earth Hour.  “Earth Hour is a new thing to Bhutan and this year it will be only limited to spreading awareness through various forms of channels like Facebook, blogs and the print media” said Yangchi Pema.
“Next year we might do something interesting,” she added.
The event began in Sydney in 2007, through a partnership between WWF Australia, Leo Burnett and Fairfax Media, when 2mn people in one city switched off their lights.
Last year, Earth Hour had created history as the largest voluntary action ever witnessed with participation across 128 countries and territories and every continent, including the world’s most recognized man-made marvels and natural wonders in a major environmental action.
This year, Earth Hour 2011 has reached record participation, with 131 countries and territories registered to take part, on all seven continents, with all G20 countries, thousands of cities, and iconic landmarks and public figures set to join with hundreds of millions across the world to celebrate action for the planet.


  1. May be I am bias here, but I have to admit enjoying going through your blog. The rationale is we probably share the same field of interest. Being a forester myself, stumbling over people who devote in gathering the news in such field generates lots of appreciation.
    Congratulation on being an environmental reporter.
    I am following you closely.

  2. Hi Sangay,

    Thanks for the comment. I guess your comment is the first one on my thanks la. Keep in touch.