DUSHANBE, March 26, 2011, Asia-Plus – Tajik capital has joined events to celebrate Earth Hour and will turn off street lighting and illumination of advertising structures today for one hour, from 8:30 p to 9:30 pm, to raise awareness towards the need to take action on climate change.

Shavkat Saidov, a spokesman for Dushanbe mayor’s office, says an appropriate decision was made by the Dushanbe legislature (Majlis) at its session that was held on March 25.  “Besides, in the framework of this action electricity supply in the city will be cut off from 10:00 pm to 11:00 pm,” he noted.

This year, more than 4,000 cities are participating in the Earth Hour event.  Besides, more than 750 icons and landmarks worldwide will turn off their lights or held events to celebrate Earth Hour 2011.

Earth Hour is a global event organized by WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature, also known as World Wildlife Fund) and is held on the last Saturday of March annually, asking households and businesses to turn off their non-essential lights and other electrical appliances for one hour to raise awareness towards the need to take action on climate change.

Earth Hour was conceived by WWF and The Sydney Morning Herald in 2007, when 2.2 million residents of Sydney participated by turning off all non-essential lights.  Following Sydney''s lead, more than 50 million people in more than 370 cities of 35 countries around the world adopted the event in 2008.  88 countries and 4,159 cities participated in Earth Hour 2009.  Earth Hour 2010 was reportedly the biggest Earth Hour yet, aiming to garner more than the one billion participant goal of 2009''s Earth Hour.  126 countries participated in Earth Hour 2010.

In his message, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon supported Earth Hour 2011 as a powerful symbol of a shared wish for a sustainable and secure future.  “All over the world individuals, communities, businesses and governments are creating new examples for our common future – new visions for sustainable living and new technologies to realize it,” said UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. “Let us join together to celebrate this shared quest to protect the planet and ensure human well-being.  Let us use 60 minutes of darkness to help the world see the light.”