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KARACHI - World Wide Fund for Nature-Pakistan officially inaugurated Earth Hour 2013 at a ceremony at a local hotel in Karachi on Monday according to which the entire nation has been requested to join WWF by switching off the unnecessary lights on Saturday March 23 from 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm.

Speaking on the occasion, former Minister for Environment and Alternate Energy Sindh, Sheikh Mohammad Afzal said that it was the fourth consecutive year that the Sindh government is supporting Earth Hour event. He further stated that 60 megawatts were saved in 2012 and with strong outreach and support from media they could save more energy, not just during the hour but all the year round. He also encouraged the use of bio-degradable plastic bags to mitigate the environmental degradation. "Media can play constructive role in creating awareness about conservation of earth resources," he added.

Earth Hour 2013 Ambassadors elaborated on the importance of Earth Hour and made personal pledges for conservation of the environment. Samina Pirzada emphasised that the people should use this hour to think about what more they can do for this planet. Faakhir Mehmood stated that he anticipated an eco-friendly and green Pakistan. He urged that the people as a nation should have zero tolerance for plastic bags. He pledged that he would only shop at stores that promote eco-friendly bags. Fareha Altaf emphasised the importance of recycling in offices and homes alike.

Tapu Javeri said that nature is moving further away from cities. He highlighted that in past he used to take photographs at the beach and now these areas are covered with plastic bags. Noman Hassan, Chief Operating Officer, Lucky Cement stated that we need to make changes in our daily life from our corporate practices to our personal lives. Waseem Sattar Project Coordinator eco-community, representing Dawood Group stated that we need to work towards a sustainable future by encouraging positive changes in our communities.

Anwar Naseem, Senior Director Corporate Relations, WWF-Pakistan stated that the need of the hour is the 3As: Attention, Awareness and Action. He maintained that Earth Hour aims to change the mindset of masses across the globe. "It aims to capture the audience, create knowledge and ultimately stimulate greener actions all year round", he added. Marriyum Aurangzeb, Senior Manager Corporate Relations invited the entire nation to join WWF by switching off the unnecessary lights on the night of Saturday, March 23 from 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm.

Secretary, Environment, Mir Hussain Ali, WWF - P representatives including Dr Ejaz Ahmed, Senior Dir. Nawaz, Regional Director WWF - P and senior management of WWF - P's Green Schools along with young ambassadors lit candles with the official ambassadors and other corporate partners.