Started by WWF and partners as a symbolic lights-out event in Sydney in 2007, Earth Hour is now one of the world's largest grassroots movements for the environment. Held every year on the last Saturday of March, Earth Hour engages millions of people in more than 180 countries, switching off their lights to show support for our planet.
Earth Hour goes beyond the symbolic action of switching lights off and has become a catalyst for positive environmental impact.
By taking part in Earth Hour, the Mediterranean Action Plan of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP/MAP) aims to raise public awareness about the need to alleviate pressure on Mediterranean marine and coastal ecosystems, including from the impacts of climate change.
In this Super Year for Nature and Biodiversity, the UNEP/MAP-Barcelona Convention system calls for a “Super Year for the Mediterranean Sea and Coast” based on the strong commitment voiced by the Contracting Parties in the Naples Ministerial Declaration in four priority areas for action: marine litter, climate change, biodiversity and the blue economy.
On Earth Hour 2020, we ask you to raise your voice for nature and call for bold action to protect ecosystems and biodiversity in the Mediterranean region. Let us switch-off lights for an hour and pollution for life by adopting lifestyle choices that reduce plastic waste in the Mediterranean, one of the most marine litter-affected regional seas in the world.
How you can help
- If you are on social media, take part in the digital campaign by tagging @EarthHour and using #EarthHour and #BarcelonaConvention hashtags in your posts. Use the facts and figures provided below to spread the word about the plight of Mediterranean ecosystems.
- Add the Earth Hour logo to your website and social media profile and add Earth Hour digital banners to your website. Click on this link to download Earth Hour communication kit.
- Switch off your lights for an hour on Saturday, 28 March 2020 at 8:30 pm (local time).
- “Switch off” plastic waste by seeking alternatives in food packaging, abandoning single-use plastic bags and reducing marine litter.
- Join us in applauding action by two Contracting Parties to the Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment and Coastal Regions of the Mediterranean (Barcelona Convention):
Montenegro where the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism recently halted the procurement and use of certain plastics such as straws or stirrers, opting for tap water in glass jugs instead of bottled.
Tunisia where a ban on single-use plastic bags in supermarkets entered into force on 1 March 2020. Click here for more.
Remember that your choices matter. Encourage your friends, colleagues and audiences to actively participate in Earth Hour.
Know the facts
Ecosystems under pressure
The plastic addiction is harming nature in the Mediterranean
We can beat marine litter
Marine litter went down by 39 per cent compared to the 2016 baseline values, according to a preliminary analysis undertaken by UNEP/MAP in November 2019. The analysis considered data provided by 13 Mediterranean countries, including results obtained from the implementation of 20 medium-size adopt-a-beach pilots implemented by UNEP/MAP in 10 countries. Adopt-a-beach is a stewardship scheme centered around community awareness and participation in litter prevention and cleaning activities guided by a standardized method developed by UNEP/MAP.
The Mediterranean hosts unique habitats and species but an oversized human development footprint is crushing biodiversity
Climate change impact is an additional burden on Mediterranean ecosystems
On World Wildlife Day (3 March), we expressed alarm at the relentless stress that unsustainable human activities and overexploitation of natural resources are exerting on biodiversity in Mare Nostrum. Read the article here.