Here’s how Earth Hour will be marked in Oman

Scores of people in Muscat will turn off their lights for an hour on March 24.

The gesture is a part of the Environment Society of Oman’s (ESO) global annual Earth Hour commemoration. People have been requested to turn off their lights from 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm to raise awareness and conserve energy.

ESO will also be holding an event for entertaining and educating guests with several programmes. The event will be held at Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex in Bausher on the same day. It will start at 6.30pm with a “scavenger hunt”, which will challenge participants to solve riddles using clues and information about humpback whales to find the hidden treasure.

This will be followed by other forms of entertainment, including live music performances, colouring activities for children, and food stalls. At 8:30 pm, an environmental documentary will be played during the “lights out” session.

The global theme of Earth Hour this year is “Connect2Earth”, which focuses on raising awareness about global biodiversity and its importance to ecosystems. In line with the theme, this year’s ESO event will focus on the Arabian Sea humpback whales, through a new collaboration with the organisation Xcape Muscat, which would be involved in the scavenger hunt.

“The focus of the event will primarily be on raising awareness over environmental issues, rather than saving energy. We have, however, noticed that we have been saving a good amount of energy every year,” Yusra Jaffer, Public Relations Manager at ESO, said.

“Over the last seven years, Earth Hour has been gaining traction in Oman. ESO works to achieve this by implementing several local conservation and awareness programmes and initiatives. Last year’s event attracted more than 400 people. The success of Earth Hour 2017 inspired us to continue our efforts to raise awareness through exciting interactive programmes that engage with the community and promote a culture of rationalisation and conservation. We are confident that participants will gain an insight into the importance of biodiversity and environmental sustainability,” Suaad Al Harthi, Programmes Director at ESO, said.

“As far as Arabian Sea humpback whales are concerned, we want to make people more aware. We want to tell people about the threat to these whales from ship strikes and the like, besides giving general information about marine life,” she added.

Xcape Muscat Chairman Abdullah Juma Saif Al Fahdi said, “We are honoured to be a part of this important global event that addresses pressing environmental challenges endangering our planet and future generations.”

All individuals and companies interested in participating in Earth Hour can take the pledge or find out more information at ESO’s Suaad Al Harthi thanked the sponsors of this year’s Earth Hour event, Special Technical Services LLC (STS) and Al Zawawi Group.