WWF North Africa to observe Earth Hour next Saturday | Tunisia News Gazette

WWF North Africa to observe Earth Hour next Saturday

The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF North Africa) will observe the “Earth Hour” on Saturday, March 24, 2018 in the Berges du Lac,” Tunis.

The event involves turning off non-essential electric lights for one hour, said Hamadi Gharbi project manager at WWF North Africa who spoke at a press conference held Thursday in Tunis.

Earth Hour, which is in its sixth edition in Tunisia and 11th in the world, aims to rationalise electricity consumption and raise awareness about the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, in order to fight against global warming.

This global climate action is organised by WWF North Africa, the association Earth Hour Tunisia, the Ministry of Local Affairs and Environment, Orange (official partner), Scouts Tunisia, and the association Velorution

WWF North Africa launched this global movement in 2013 to send a strong signal for better protection of the environment and biodiversity in Tunisia and to raise the awareness of both citizens about the importance of energy conservation and officials about the need to amend laws relating to energy saving.

An hour of electricity in Tunisia is worth the consumption of 4,000 Tunisian families, the equivalent of 850 mega watts (MG) per hour.

An hour without electricity can mobilise 2 million dinars to the state treasury and reduce 420 tons of equivalent CO2, said Gharbi.

“Earth Hour” 2018 is not only an event but also a programme with the aim to connect to Earth”, he added.

The event was organised at Habib Bourguiba Avenue in Tunis in 2013, in Carthage in 2014, in Hammamet in 2015, then in Sousse in 2016, and in Zaghouan at the “Temple of Waters” in 2017, recording (in 2017) a drop in consumption by 400 MW, the equivalent of the consumption of 400 thousand households.

Gharbi criticised the attitude of public institutions in charge of energy in Tunisia that do not play their role of sensitisation and do not provide useful information, recalling, in this respect, that the country is called to reach a rate of 30% in terms of use of renewable energies whereas these currently account for only 4%.

For his part, Sofiane Mahjoub, Marine Programme Officer at the WWF North Africa office in Tunis said biodiversity is now threatened despite its importance for humans.

Referring to WWF’s studies on certain species, Mahjoub said more than 50% of the numbers of these species have declined in 50 years.

He added that the speed of extinction of species is alarming, especially since it is currently between 100 and 1000 times higher than its normal rate.

The world is undergoing its 6th extinction, since the appearance of life on earth, according to Mahjoub. The situation is critical, notably in light of the current climate changes.

“If the temperature increases by 2 degrees, 25% of species will probably disappear and if we do not react to protect the climate, we will reach a rise in temperature by 4.5 degrees and risk the loss of biodiversity which will reach 50% by 2080, he stressed.

For Mahjoub, certain regions are more sensitive to the indicators mentioned above, including the Mediterranean which represents 1% of ocean surface, 7.5% of faunistic biodiversity and 8% of floristic biodiversity.

The “Earth Hour” will be a day without cars. The programme will also include a presentation and sale of local products and crafts, a documentary screening and a performance by violinist Yasmine Azaiez, starting at 8:30 pm (light off time) and dance shows.

“Earth Hour” is an annual event held every last Saturday in March at the initiative of WWF and the Sydney Morning Herald, a leading Australian newspaper.

The first “Earth Hour” was held in Sydney.

Source: TAP News Agency

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