[ABUJA, Nigeria] — Following a landmark year for climate, World Wide Fund’s [WWF]  Earth Hour coordinated by Connected Development [CODE] in Nigeria, and Young Volunteers for the Environment in collaboration with the African Youth Initiative on Climate Change in seven West African countries is calling on people around West Africa and the world to continue the charge and be a part of the global momentum to help change climate change. This follows the countdown to Earth Hour, a global yearly event celebrated on March 19, between 8:30 and 9:30 p.m. local time.

2015 was the hottest year on record and it was also the year countries came together to work against climate change at the historic summit in Paris. With the world at a climate crossroads, Earth Hour 2016 is our time to shine a light on climate and environment action and build the foundation for a better future for our planet and future generations.

2016 marks the tenth lights out event since Earth Hour’s debut in Sydney, Australia in 2007. In the past nine years, WWF and Earth Hour teams around the world have harnessed the power of the movement to raise support and funds for access to renewable energy, protection of wildlife and their habitats, building sustainable livelihoods and driving climate-friendly legislation and policy.

In Nigeria, Earth Hour 2016 will join to drive petition to save the last forest in Calabar, Cross River State, with the #CrossRiverSuperway hashtag while activists and businesses will come together in Lagos, Abuja, Cross River, Taraba and Benue States to learn and share how they create a low carbon economy with several of their initiatives. “Earth Hour serves a platform not just to raise awareness about environmental issues, the event also serves as a platform for entrepreneurs who are involved in activities that protect Earth to showcase their work and network as we engage people during the time frame of the event at night” said Oludotun Babayemi, the West Africa Regional Director for Earth Hour.

Babayemi also highlighted other West African countries joining the movement, “This year, we would have Nigér, Senegal, Ivory Coast, Bénin, Togo, Ghana and Gambia joining actions mobilizing millions of people across the continent to inspire actions and inform policy decisions as we collectively implement the outcomes of Paris COP21 and countries INDCs”.

“In 2016, Earth Hour will continue to power grassroots efforts to change climate change including driving a petition to Save the Ekuri Forest, protecting forests and biodiversity in the Sahel of Africa and helping devise a comprehensive solution to waste management persistent crisis by working with governments, businesses and civil society simultaneously on sustainable waste management” stressed Hamzat Lawal, the Chief Executive of Connected development, CODE.

In addition, as Nigeria’s most iconic landmarks – Lekki Conservation Centre, Lagos, Transcorp Hilton, Abuja, Le Meridien, Ogeyi Place, Port Harcourt, Kwararafa University, Wukari, Taraba and Pauline Makka Women Development Center, Makurdi, Benue, prepare to switch off their lights for Earth Hour; supporters are also invited to take a stand for climate action using Social media. Users of social media can donate their Facebook feeds to spread climate awareness and action in a few clicks on www.earthhour.org/climateaction. In addition, using custom-made Earth Hour filters to Facebook and Twitter profile pictures, users can show their friends and followers they care about the planet.

Ms Luttah Annette of JVE International remarked at the importance of the event and the involvement of youth in climate matters “This event is a trend setter that brings great awareness to communities and various stakeholders with a message that, it does not take much to contribute towards sustainable development. This is a wakeup call for all actors to join forces to make a significant impact towards reversing climate change and to improve the livelihoods of the poor in our communities” .

Earth Hour 2016 will be celebrated on Saturday, 19 March 2016 between 8:30 and 9:30 p.m. local time. Log on to www.earthhour.org/nigeria  for more stories and articles on teams using the Earth Hour movement to shine a light on climate action. This is our time to change climate change.

Link to the official Earth Hour 2016 music video: http://ehour.me/EH2016-MusicVideo

Link to photos on Earth Hour activities in Nigeria:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/visitgwarinpa/albums

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For media inquiries or requests for press interviews, please contact: 

Abdulmalik, Abdulmalik  – Earth Hour Nigeria; abdulmalik@connecteddevelopment.org +234 09 291 7545

Attegoua Marcelline – JVE International Secretariat; secret.jve@gmail.com +228 22200112

About Earth Hour:

Earth Hour is WWF’s global environmental movement. Born in Sydney in 2007, Earth Hour has grown to become the world’s largest grassroots movement for the environment, inspiring individuals, communities, businesses and organizations in over 170 countries and territories to take tangible climate action. Celebrating the tenth edition of its signature lights out event in March 2016, the Earth Hour movement continues to harness the power of its millions of supporters to shine a light on climate action and the power of the individual to change climate change.

About Connected Development [CODE]:

CODE is a non-government organization whose mission is to improve access to information and empower local communities in Africa. We strengthen local communities by creating platforms for dialogue, enabling informed debate, and building capacities of marginalized communities which ensure social and economic progress while promoting transparency and accountability.

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