The world’s first Earth Hour Forest is being created in the East African nation of Uganda, to fight against the 6,000 hectares of deforestation that occurs in the country every month. The aim of the Uganda Earth Hour Forest campaign is to plant 500,000 indigenous trees on an area of 2,700 hectares of degraded land in Uganda by getting people, businesses and governments involved in donating and planting trees. Earth Hour 2013 will take place at 8.30pm on Saturday 23 March and is celebrated around the world.
Uganda’s Earth Hour Forest is massive environmental outcome of the I Will If You Will campaign. In December, the Russian Parliament passed a strengthened law to better protect the country’s seas from oil pollution after a petition carrying the voices of 122,000 people was successfully presented to the State Duma.
“We cannot afford to ignore this critical environmental threat we are facing today. So, we are calling upon every individual, business, government agency, friends and family members to join us in planting this new landmark for Uganda’s environment,” said David Duli, Country Director, WWF Uganda Country Office.
Businesses, government officials and individuals are quickly heeding the call and taking up the challenge set by WWF Uganda to reach their 2013 goal. Leading the way is Standard Chartered Bank – Uganda, which has already committed to plant close to 250,000 trees, and the Ugandan Minister of State for Water and Environment who has personally pledged to plant 1,000 trees.
“Earth Hour 2013 is the rallying point for millions of people in 152 countries and territories across the world to address the climate change challenge. It illustrates that it’s within our reach and power to work together for a sustainable future,” said Andy Ridley, CEO and co-founder of Earth Hour.
This tree planting initiative is one of thousands of Earth Hour’s I Will If You Will challenges taking place worldwide. I Will If You Will is a campaign that encourages everyone to take a positive action for the environment, beyond the Earth Hour hour. In 2012, nearly 10,000 challenges were posted on YouTube.com/EarthHour driving more than 4.6 million people to interact with the challenges and 200,000 to accept challenges on the platform alone.
The action might be a simple lifestyle change or something that leads to political change. It might require 10 people to do something, or 10,000. I Will If You Will allows anybody – from a child in a classroom to a President of a nation – to become the inspiration to their friends, family, colleagues and communities by sharing what they’re willing to do to protect the planet.