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Earth Hour Launches Global 2013 Campaign As A Platform For Outcomes To Change The Planet

SINGAPORE, Feb. 27, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Earth Hour, the world's largest movement for the planet, has launched its 2013 campaign on the back of record environmental outcomes it achieved in 2012.

Andy Ridley, CEO and Co-Founder of Earth Hour, spoke at the media launch of the environmental campaign in Singapore today. Earth Hour 2013 will take place on Saturday, March 23 at 8:30PM.

"Earth Hour has always been more than a lights off campaign, and we are now seeing some extraordinary environmental outcomes on the way to achieving our long-term vision," Ridley said.

"Last December, the Russian parliament passed a long-awaited law to protect the country's seas from oil pollution, after the voices of 120,000 Russians were presented to the government during our I Will If You Will campaign for Earth Hour 2012," he said.

Following on from the massive success of its 120,000-strong signature petition, WWF's Earth Hour in Russia has launched its 2013 campaign aiming to secure more than 100,000 signatures from Russian citizens to petition for amendments to the current forest legislation. If successful, it will return a ban on industrial logging in an area of land equal to twice the size of France, with protective forests equalling almost 18% of all forest territory in the country.

In Africa, the first Earth Hour Forest has begun in the nation of Uganda, an important first step in the fight against the 6,000 hectares of deforestation that occurs in the country every month. WWF Uganda identified close to 2,700 hectares of degraded land, and set a goal to fill it with at least 500,000 indigenous trees as part of their Earth Hour 2013 campaign.

In Botswana, former President Mr Festus Mogae has made a four-year commitment to plant one million indigenous trees as part of his I Will If You Will challenge, starting with 100,000 in a severely degraded area in Southern Botswana called Goodhope. 

Across Latin America, preparations for ' La Hora Del Planeta' are well underway with Argentinian Earth Hour organisers and WWF affiliate Fundacion Vida Silvestre Argentina, mobilizing thousands of participants to help champion the passing of a Senate bill to make Banco Burwood the biggest Marine Protected Area (MPA) in the country.

If the pending Senate bill is passed, the 3.4 million-hectare MPA will raise the level of protection of Argentina's Exclusive Economic Zone* from 1% to 4%.

After recently moving its headquarters to Singapore, the Earth Hour Global office is now amidst some of the fastest growing Earth Hour movements around the world, who are using the rising influence of Asia to expand their actions.

The ' Ini Aksiku! Mana Aksimu?' campaign (localised Indonesian version of I Will If You Will) has led to a revolutionary use of Twitter to mobilise 30 cities across Indonesia to take ongoing action beyond the hour.

"What Earth Hour has done in Indonesia, through ' Ini Aksiku! Mana Aksimu?', has led to thousands of people taking actions now, that they weren't doing before. And this is just the start," said Verena Puspawardani, Campaign Coordinator of the Climate & Energy Program at WWF Indonesia.

In the USA, nearly 35,000 Girls Scouts took part in Earth Hour last year through the Save Energy Project, and installed 132,141 energy efficient light bulbs across the country. The impact is a staggering 75,392,654 pounds of CO2 emissions eliminated, equivalent to the CO2 sequestration from planting 7,286 acres of trees per year*.

"These outcomes both evidence the power of our collective action and the potential for future outcomes for the environment, generated by hundreds of millions of people coming together as part of the Earth Hour movement," Ridley said.

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