Mar 212015

MANILA, Philippines – The World Wide Fund for Nature is giving portable solar lamps to remote parts of the Philippines as part of its project for Earth Hour.

Earth Hour is held every last Saturday of March and is originally envisioned as an hour-long switch-off to show unity against climate change.

As part of its celebration of Earth Hour, WWF said it is giving solar lamps to residents of Palawan who have limited access to electricity.  After Palawan, the project would also provide lamps to residents of Mindoro.

“Solar lamps rely on the power of the sun, eliminating the need to buy fuel. We’re teaching communities to veer away from fossil-fuels, the burning of which contributes to climate change,” said WWF Climate Change Unit and Earth Hour Philippines head Gia Ibay.

According to WWF, climate change has caused Arctic sea ice to shrink to its lowest winter extent since 1880. Philippine effects have ranged from more powerful typhoons to massive floods.

After Beton in northern Palawan, the project would provide lamps for the Mangyan people and forest rangers protecting the Iglit-Baco Mountain Range in Occidental Mindoro.

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Ibay said the project would run for a year.

“We hope that the money that the beneficiaries will save can buy basic needs like food, books and clothes,” she said.

The Philippines has been championing the switch-off since 2008. A growing list of allies has pledged to support this year’s efforts, led by government partners such as the Local Government of Quezon City, Climate Change Commission, the Departments of Energy, Environment, Education, Transportation and Communications, Public Works and Highways, Labor and Employment, the League of Provinces, Municipalities and Cities, plus the Metro Manila Development Authority.

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