One saturday in March, more than 7,000 cities and towns in 153 countries and territories worldwide switched off their non-essential lights for an hour in celebration of the largest environmental voluntary action for a greener and safer world – Earth Hour. For the fifth time this year, Georgia has joined Earth Hour with a massive campaign that brings together civil society, businesses, international organizations, Government agencies, students and individual citizens.
Since 2009, UNO Tbilisi has partnered with UNDP, the Ministry of Environment Protection and the Caucasus Environmental NGO Network (CENN), the official representative of Earth Hour in Georgia to organize Earth Hour events. This year, UNO joined efforts with UNDP, the national Ministry of Environment Protection, CNN, leading Georgian businesses and media outlets Georgia Today, Rustavi-2, Radio City and Radio Jazz FM to observe Earth Hour 2013 in Tbilisi.
The festivities began with the traditional public gathering in front of the UN House at the Round Garden. There, live music accompanied candle lighting to form the 60+ logo.
Present at the public event were a large number of people from all walks of life, including youth, Government, NGO, and media representatives. After the switch-off at 8:30 pm, the celebration shifted to the Sheraton Metechi Palace Hotel for a “Green Party” and special Earth Hour performance. To further raise awareness, UNO promoted the event through its partner educational institutions.
At the Tbilisi National Youth Palace another large-scale event with special performances and poetry reading sessions was under way.
Prior to the day, an Earth Hour photo contest was announced wherein participants took photos of iconic landmarks before and after switch-off. The winners of the contest will be announced on Earth Day, 22 April.