Earth Hour, the international environmental movement, was celebrated on March 25. For the first time, Guatemala is participating in WWF’s City Challenge.
World Wildlife Fund (WWF) carried out Earth Hour around the sustainable cities topic, with support from Fundación Defensores de la Naturaleza and La Aurora Zoo. By commemorating the tenth anniversary of this event that was celebrated across the world, Guatemala produced five simultaneous events in different parts of the country.
On the 2017 version of Earth Hour, Guatemala participates in the One Planet City Challenge promoted by WWF for several years. This initiative consists in promoting the implication of cities on climate change actions, recognizing the best practices developed at the municipal level. It also motivates citizens to perform environmentally friendly actions that reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
This year, in Guatemala City, a 10 Kilometer night race, was organized by the Municipality celebrating Earth Hour. At the end of the race, there was a gathering in front of the Guatemalan Social Security Building and lights were turned off at these premises.
At Pachalum, Quiché, Earth Hour was celebrated with previous activities that included a marathon, Zumba and a gathering at the Central Park during the turning off. In Villa Nueva, the intensity of the 17,000 LED public lightning lamps was reduced by 75%, plus a theatrical representation. In Antigua Guatemala, citizens gathered at the Central Park of this colonial city and with lighted candles joined the world movement. The mayor of Mixco invited citizens to turn off their lights too. Quetzaltenango, a city that traditionally has supported the event, also performed different activities joining private businesses and local entities.
Climate change actions
With the City Challenge, WWF motivates municipalities to construct or strengthen a sustainability plan with which to implement actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that provoke climate change.
Some of the indicators that identify a sustainable city are, for instances, the use of renewable energies, sustainable urban mobility, adequate management of solid and liquid wastes, responsible water use, among others.