A Modern Spin on a Longstanding Campaign, WWF-Cambodia #connect2earth for Earth Hour 2018
Posted on 11 October 2018
WWF-Cambodia celebrated Earth Hour in unison with people from around the globe on 24th March, 2018.WWF-Cambodia celebrated Earth Hour in unison with people from around the globe on 24th March, 2018. The campaign adopted a theme titled “Connect to Earth” which was chosen to highlight the links between biodiversity and climate change. To raise awareness on this topic, the objectives for this year’s event were threefold. Firstly, the team aimed to increase environmental awareness amongst the Cambodian public, and encourage individual contributions to protect wildlife and forests. Secondly, it attempted to engage youth to play a more active role in contributing to natural resource protection. Lastly, the campaigners attempted to engage the private sector to actively implement initiatives that limit commercial and industrial impacts on our natural environment. The total number of participants showing up at the event was around one thousand people including scores of children.
This year WWF-Cambodia took a unique interpretation of the theme to focus specifically on individual power to protect wildlife and forest. The campaign team organised an event jointly organized with the Ministry of Environment (MoE), and Ecolife Cambodia with some financial support from private companies. Private sector including telecom companies, fast food chains, restaurants, coffee shops, supermarkets and hotels were involved in promoting the event and the campaign messages to encourage their customers to participate in this environmental movement. The WWF team helped them to share the important message to #connect2earth by providing social media packages, and communication materials such as posters, leaflets, and x-stand at their outlets which the companies could disperse as they wished. There were over a thousand people gathered at the event which was celebrated in front of the MoE’s new building. There were stalls displaying different environmental products from various companies and NGOs, wildlife photos, and a big statue of the last tiger captured by camera trap in Cambodia.
To ensure that a strong conservation message was shared with the crowd, various performances were held including from the Earth Hour ambassadors Meas Soksophea and Chhorn Sovannareach, fashion shows, quizzes to win prizes, and a life story from one of our rangers. At 8:30pm, the iconic part of the Earth Hour campaign begun - time to turn all of the lights off. As a symbolic gesture, all participants held candlelight to show their solidarity and commitment to a strengthened and continuing fight to protect Cambodia’s precious wildlife and natural resources. This was a moving moment in time where participants were able to connect to earth, and reflect on what they could do as individuals to help conservation organisations like WWF to protect the forest and wildlife.