The planet’s natural systems are vital for all our futures, and yet, the rate of global loss of nature during the past 50 years is unprecedented in human history. Nature not only provides us with food, water, clean air, and other services, it is also one of our strongest allies against climate change.
We are already seeing the impacts of climate change in our warming world. Lives and livelihoods are being affected as the result of more frequent extreme weather events, from heatwaves to floods and wildfires.
We need to realise that what we do to our planet, we do to ourselves. We are not just living through history; we are shaping it with every action we take, and our current experience is just a foretaste of what is to come.
To stop runaway climate change, we must act now.
WWF South Africa CEO Dr Morné du Plessis said:
“Investing in nature is one of the most immediate, powerful, and cost-effective solutions to the climate crisis and shaping our future. Earth Hour aims to increase awareness and spark global conversations about combating the climate crisis which is why we call on all South Africans to support this year’s call for global awareness and action.”
Raising public awareness with goal of policy changes
Individual action can be important, but without more ambition and faster implementation from national and international policy we will miss this last chance to limit climate change to 1.5°C. This means that the most important thing that people and businesses can do right now is to work together to raise public awareness, and to hold the private and public sector accountable for fulfilling their commitments.
On Monday 28 February, the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its latest report on climate change. The report’s key message was that strengthening nature is key to securing a live-able future for humanity. We not only have to adapt rapidly but also need to urgently make deep cuts to greenhouse gas emissions. The more the world heats up, the fewer options we will have in the future.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said during the launch of the IPCC report:
“I know people everywhere are anxious and angry. I am, too. Now is the time to turn rage into action. Every fraction of a degree matters. Every voice can make a difference. And every second counts.”
Join WWF-SA’s Adventure Run
Capetonians can support the fight against climate change by participating in WWF South Africa’s Earth Hour Adventure Run, which takes place at a top conservation-focused wine farm in the Western Cape this coming weekend.
Adventure run participants will be able to enjoy the outdoors, while dashing through the majestic Plaisir de Merle Wine Estate, one of WWF South Africa’s Wine Conservation Champions, situated at the foot of the Simonsberg mountain between Paarl and Franschhoek. The 5km family-friendly, easy adventure run is the perfect energetic prelude to an indulgent night out of wine tasting and a picnic or a delicious meal out at the estate market.
WWF South Africa’s Head of Business Development, Justin Smith, said the Earth Hour Adventure Run, which was launched as a unique event in the Cape Peninsula as part of the annual Global Earth Hour movement, was now back after the lockdown temporarily shut it down.
“We created a fun, interactive, family adventure in the magnificent Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens. This quickly became a firm favourite for adventurous families and in 2018 we extended the adventure to Johannesburg’s Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens. We are excited to be able to host this event again,” Smith said.
Adventure dash will get adrenalin pumping
He added, “The WWF Earth Hour Adventure Run is now back for the 2022 event. We invite families and friends to join millions of people around the globe and get into the spirit of Earth Hour by participating in this much-loved orienteering-style adventure dash through this beautiful local wine estate.”
Participants, both young and not so young, will navigate their way to hidden checkpoints dotted across the picturesque wine farm.
“The Adventure Run provides a breath-taking experience of diverse and rich fynbos vegetation, a wide variety of exotic bird and small buck species, all while getting your adrenalin pumping in support of our planet. After all the action, you can sit back and enjoy the evening on the estate knowing that you have done your bit for nature and had some fun outdoors at the same time,” concluded Smith.
WWF invites all South Africans to join the global community to participate in Earth Hour and highlight the role nature plays in our lives and in reducing climate change.
Earth Hour is on Saturday 26 March from 8.30pm to 9.30pm local time.