A bishop in the southern Philippines calls for reflection on Laudato si’, Pope Francis' encyclical on the environment, during the observance of Earth Hour on March 25. Earth Hour is a very good way to remember that we are all stewards of the environment," said Archbishop Antonio Ledesma of Cagayan de Oro.
Using the simple action of turning off lights for 60 minutes is a means to deliver a powerful message about the need for decisive climate change solutions.
The Philippines has been championing the switch-off since 2008 and has topped global participation records from 2009 to 2012, earning the country the title of "Earth Hour Hero Country."
Archbishop Ledesma said those who will observe Earth Hour can reflect on the environment as "a gift from God," that people are asked to be "stewards of the gift," and the environment is "meant for all generations."
" We can also reflect that the church herself is for integral human development," said the prelate, adding that part of the church's role is "to take care of our relationship ... with God and creation."
Earth Hour is a worldwide movement for the planet organized by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). The event is held worldwide annually encouraging individuals, communities, households and businesses to turn off their non-essential lights for one hour, from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. towards the end of March, as a symbol for their commitment to the planet.
Earth Hour was started as a lights-off event in Sydney, Australia, in 2007. Since then, it has grown to engage more than 7000 cities and towns worldwide. Today, Earth Hour engages a massive mainstream community on a broad range of environmental issues. The one-hour event continues to remain the key driver of the now larger movements.
Earth Hour 2017 will be on Saturday, March 25, from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. (UCAN)