Continuing a three-year tradition, The Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature (RSCN, BirdLife Partner in Jordan), with support from Investbank, hosted “Lights Out Jordan: Earth Hour 2011,” welcoming hundreds of people to an evening of environmental awareness, entertainment, and, above all, commitments to change the world. Joining with hundreds of millions of people across the globe, participants in Amman gathered at the RSCN’s Wild Jordan Center, turned off their lights for one hour, and marched by candlelight through Jabal Amman in order to bring awareness to global warming while celebrating the strides that Jordan and the RSCN have taken to save the planet.
Now in its third year, the “Lights Out Jordan: Earth Hour 2011” event saw the largest number of participants yet. Youth from the Princess Basma Youth Center, government officials, and people from all backgrounds and walks of life came together to show their support for the planet.
As participants gathered at the Wild Jordan Center before turning out the lights, they were greeted with a plethora of activities that highlighted Jordan’s rich biodiversity, nature reserves, and conservation efforts throughout the Kingdom. Exhibits from local photographers illustrated the extensive natural beauty from all corners of the Kingdom, and video recordings from last year’s event were played, reminding participants of their individual commitment and personal promise to work towards environmental change.
The message of Earth Hour this year is to go beyond the hour, and commit to a more sustainable way of living, everyday and not just for an hour. From carpooling to recycling, participants chose one lifestyle change that would help save the planet, starting at the simplest of levels: themselves. Participants then confirmed their dedication to these commitments by lighting their candles. As they walked through the Jabal Amman neighborhood, guided by music, they were led not only by the light of their candles but by the hope and promise that each candle embodied: the promise that, together, their actions could change the world.
Those gathered at the Wild Jordan Center were not the only ones to celebrate Earth Hour 2011. All six RSCN nature reserves also participated in Earth Hour, turning off their lights for an hour and lighting candles, while others who were unable to attend the RSCN event turned off the lights in their homes, offices, and stores. The Greater Amman Municipality also joined the event by turning off street lights throughout Jabal Amman.
Earth Hour began in 2007 in Sydney, Australia, where 2.2 million individuals turned off their lights for one hour to stand up for action against climate change. A few years later, Earth Hour has attracted hundreds of millions of people with participation from almost 130 countries across the globe, with every individual, government and business making a commitment to environmentally sustainable action for the forthcoming year.
The Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature (RSCN) is a non-profit non-government organization devoted to the protection and care of Jordan’s wild plants, animals, and natural landscapes. Wild Jordan is the division of RSCN responsible for socio-economic projects, including all eco-tourism and handicraft enterprises that link the protection of nature with the improvement of the livelihoods of local communities.