Earth Hour Live

Tonight, millions of people are joining together, and turning off their lights to help make a difference and raise awareness about the issue of global warming. See how the world is taking part, with these live news feeds and images from participating cities. Don't forget to share your Earth Hour moments too. Remember - turn off your lights!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Earth Hour Fiji style

At 8pm local time, lights went off not only in the capital Suva, but in cities and towns all over the country - as Kesaia Tabunakawai, WWF South Pacific Programme Representative said, “looking at the map of Fiji, the whole country seems to be supporting Earth Hour. Commitments for ‘lights off’ came from Taveuni, Savusavu, Labasa, Levuka, Nausori, Suva, Sigatoka, Denarau, Lautoka, Lami, Kadavu and Nadi to name just a few.”

In Suva, there was great excitement as the major businesses in the city centre - including Westpac, McDonalds, KFC, Village 6 Cinema and others - switched their lights off one by one. Most dramatically, the largest billboard in the city above the ANZ building was switched off, as were ANZ's signs, other lights and even their ATMs.

Shortly after the city was plunged into darkness, two Fijian warriors in traditional dress carried a flaming torch from prominent restaurant JJ's on the Park to the wharf where they were met by members of the Takia Outrigger Canoe Paddling Club, also in traditional outfits. The warriors passed the flame to the paddlers, who then paddled out into Suva Harbour to release over a hundred floating candles, representing the hundreds of islands of Fiji that are facing the destructive impacts of climate change. The crowd cheered as the candles were released and the paddlers raised their paddles aloft. (Don't worry, all the candles were collected afterwards!)

Other events of the night included a candlelit dinner at JJ's on the Park, a Rotaract Earth Hour party, family dinners and prayer sessions by candlelight or tradional Indian lanterns, and traditional Fijian kava sessions by candlelight.

Fiji is a small Pacific nation consisting of over 300 islands. Fiji’s contribution to the main cause of climate change, carbon emissions, is very small, but Fiji and other Pacific countries are facing more impacts from climate change than larger nations. The hundreds of businesses and individuals from all over Fiji that switched off showed the world that Fiji is ready and willing to take action on climate change.

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