Earth Hour 2013 in Georgia – Another Success!
On Saturday, March 23, 2013, over 152 countries and territories and over 7,000 cities worldwide switched off their non-essential lights from 8:30pm to 9:30pm in celebration of the largest voluntary action for the environment – Earth Hour. Georgia was among these countries for the fifth time already.
This year’s event was the first where the major organizers of Earth Hour in Georgia came together and combined their efforts to ensure the biggest Earth Hour celebration yet. CENN has been the official representative of Earth Hour in Georgia since 2009 and has partnered with the Ministry of Environment Protection and UN in Georgia in organizing Earth Hour events. This year, we came together with the other Earth Hour organizers in Georgia: Sheraton, New Light, Gulf, Beeline, Georgia Today, Radio City, and Radio Jazz FM.
The event in Tbilisi began with the traditional public gathering at the Round Garden in front of the UN House where live music accompanied the lighting of candles in the form of the 60+ logo. The public event attracted a large number of people from all walks of life: young people, government, NGO, and media representatives, etc. Switch-off was observed at 8:30pm, following which the celebration shifted to Sheraton Metechi Palace Hotel, where a ‘Green Party’ and a special Earth Hour performance were held.
Special Earth Hour promo materials were distributed to a wide audience, contributing to awareness-raising.
Another large-scale event with special performances and poetry reading sessions was held at the Tbilisi National Youth Palace.
Within this year’s campaign, 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 – April 22.
In cooperation with the City Hall, the following iconic structures throughout Tbilisi stood in darkness during Earth Hour: the TV Broadcasting Tower, the former building of the Parliament, the Shota Rustaveli State Drama Theater, Tbilisi National Youth Palace, the Narikala Fortress, the monument of St. George on Freedom Square, the presidential residence, the premises of several ministries, the buildings of Old Tbilisi, and Rustaveli and Aghmashenebeli Avenues, the UN House, Sheraton hotels in Tbilisi and Batumi, Radisson hotel in Tbilisi, among others.
The lights in key buildings in Batumi, Rustavi, Gori, Kutaisi, Zugdidi, Bolnisi, Tkibuli, Tchiatura and Telavi were also switched off. Particular engagement in Earth Hour was observed in Adjara, where all municipalities participated in the switch-off. Youth organizations, such as CISV – Georgia and SIQA from Rustavi lent their full support to Earth Hour in Georgia by joining the ongoing events and organizing their own.
CENN’s Rural Women Councils (RWCs) were also actively involved in the campaign this year. The four RWCs in Georgia from the villages of Darkveti (Tchiatura municipality), Gelati (Tkibuli municipality), Ratevani (Bolnisi municipality), and Pshaveli (Telavi municipality) conducted Earth Hour presentations and organized public gatherings and candle lighting with the participation of children from the local EcoClubs. The RWCs also successfully lobbied with local governments for switch-offs on local public buildings.
By switching off lights for 60 minutes, the campaign participants showed their ongoing support to Earth Hour – the largest environmental voluntary action for a greener and safer world.
Please, view a slideshow of images from Earth Hour 2013 in Georgia:
Earth Hour Georgia official portal: http://earthhourgeorgia.wordpress.com