BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London, joined iconic landmarks as well as communities and organisations in more than 190 countries and territories by switching off its non-essential lights to observe Earth Hour at 8.30pm on Saturday 28 March 2020.
Earth Hour – the world’s largest environmental event – is a global movement uniting millions of people “to invite urgent action against nature loss and climate change.”
More than 100 landmarks and monuments participated around the world, including the Sydney Opera House, Egypt’s Great Pyramids, the Eiffel Tower in Paris, Brazil’s Christ the Redeemer monument and the Empire State Building in New York, as well as notable buildings in London, such as the Houses of Parliament, Buckingham Palace, the London Eye, and St Paul’s Cathedral. Additionally, millions of people around the world switched off the lights of their homes in solidarity with the movement.
Earth Hour began in Sydney, Australia, in 2007. It is coordinated by the World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF), one of the world’s largest and most respected independent conservation organisations.
Marco Lambertini, Director General of WWF International, said: “The success of this year’s Earth Hour is a testimony to the incredible human spirit and the power of collective action. At a time when the world is facing an unprecedented challenge in the face of the COVID-19 outbreak, the need to unite and make our voices heard for a more harmonious relationship with the planet has never been greater.”
BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha is committed to taking action ‘beyond the hour’ as part of a wider initiative to support safer environmental practices. Nikhil Saglani, a volunteer at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London, shared, “Nature holds a revered place within Hinduism, as not just a resource for humans to utilise but as infused with the powerful presence of God. And so, our spiritual leader, Mahant Swami Maharaj, inspires us to take personal care of the environment in grateful adoration of God himself. Switching off lights is not merely a gesture, but is part of a principle embedded in the Hindu ethos and one that is at the heart of our thoughts and actions.”
Earth Hour is also observed by BAPS mandirs in North America