Earth Hour Live

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Monday, March 10, 2008

Rabuka urges shipping companies to join Earth Hour

SUVA: Bligh Water Shipping Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and former Prime Minister Major-General Sitiveni Rabuka urges all shipping companies to support the Earth Hour campaign and turn off the lights for all ships at Suva harbor on 29th March for one hour.

"I would recommend any other shipping company to contribute to this campaign. We are leaving in a degrading environment and for shipping companies it is very important to have a clean and healthy ocean," said Mr. Rabuka.

Mr. Rabuka, as an Earth Hour Champion said: "The environment should be very close to our hearts and if we want our grandchildren enjoying this environment then we need to conserve and a small way to show our support is by supporting causes like Earth Hour."

Not just for Earth Hour but also for economic reasons it would be useful to reduce our electricity bills. My company will not stop in March, we will compare the electricity bills for the last six months and will monitor out next six months bills. We are going to address our energy consumption for the long term,”

"From a company’s point of view, we are going to save a lot of cash and if simple operators take this programme on board they are going to save so much," he said.

Bligh Water Shipping’s involvement will see the Sullivan switch off all its lights while Westerland will sail with minimum lighting for an hour on 29th March. These ferries provide services between Viti Levu, Vanua Levu and Tavuni.

Mr. Rabuka said passengers taking day trips on board his company’s ships are often entertained by dolphins swimming along the boats.

It has brought this point very close to our hearts that we need to conserve the environment so we continue to enjoy seeing dolphins, other sea creatures and rich coral life.”

Mr. Rabuka's participation as a Cakaudrove native and CEO of Blight Water Shipping led him to roll out Earth Hour to all his staff.

"I sent out an email to all the staff in the various departments telling them the need to cut down on our energy consumption and from those departments they each nominate an Earth Hour champion."

Switching off for one hour will not affect our business and it’s only about switching of the lights which is easy to do for every individual. This is a very visible way to demonstrate our concern for our planet and I would loath if I wasn’t part of this

Mr. Rabuka has seen the changes that Climate Change is having on his island of Drekenawai, Navatu in Cakaudrove.

He said, "Coming from a coastal island my house is just right next to the sea, before there used to be a beach but because of the changing tides, we have had to build a sea wall."

"There are more than 300 islands in Fiji, and depending on the tide there can be 305 but lets hope that it won't go down to only 290 islands someday."

Mr. Rabuka, has recently been named one of Fiji’s Earth Hour Champion as momentum gathers towards the 29th of March. Suva City Council , Lautoka City Council ,Lami Town Council have joined the Earth Hour campaign in Fiji.

The event which saw 2.2 million Sydney-siders switching off their lights for an hour is going global this year with 26 more cities already confirming their participation.

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