Scouts from the Asia-Pacific Region joined the rest of the world as they switched off lights for the Earth Hour 2009 on 28th March.
In the region, Scouts from Maldives and Cub Scouts from Scouts China were part of over 84 countries and territories that supported this global event.
In Maldives, known for taking initiative in environmental protection, the association was at the forefront in organizing several events with the support of the Ministry of Housing, Transport and Environment. At a national scale, there were various events and activities that caught the cooperation of communities businesses, non-government organizations and government ministries.
Earth Hour 2009 was launched by Chief Scout and President of Maldives HE Mr Mohamed Nasheed, with the switching off the lights of the official residence of the president at Mulee-aage. The Chief Scout said that global awareness on climate change has increased over the decades enumerating the negative impacts of climatic in change in the country but highlighted the message of Earth Hour that, “each individual can make a positive impact on climate change.”
Series of activities were done in different places: Renewable energy exhibit, Earth Hour walk and the culminating part was the Earth Hour variety show, held at the Artificial Beach where people gathered while they counted down the last seconds for Earth Hour 2009. To highlight the event, the government decided that from 4:00pm to 12:00pm of 28th March, no vehicles were allowed to travel in the roads of Malè as well as all the other islands of Maldives except for the vehicles needed for security and emergency purposes.
In Taipei, The Cub Scout Choir of Scouts of China joined the Earth Hour and sang with candle light declaring their support to Earth Hour 2009. The Cub Scout Choir which started five years ago and has now 80 members regularly meet every for practice every Saturday night at the headquarters of The General Association of the Scouts of China Scouts of China, situated in Taipei, decided to join and let the Cub Scouts contribute in their own ways in fighting the green house effect.
Upon hearing about Earth Hour, Scouts of China appealed to all local councils to turn off the lights.
The Earth Hour began in Sydney in 2007, when 2.2 million homes and businesses switched off their lights for one hour. In 2008 the message had grown into a global sustainability movement, with 50 million people switching off their lights.
Pictures: © The Scout Association of Maldives