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EARTH HOUR 2019: RESIDENTS OF ARKHANGELSK REGION AND REPUBLIC OF KHAKASSIA SHOW MOST ACTIVE POSITION TOWARD ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES
Премия рунета 2017

EARTH HOUR 2019: RESIDENTS OF ARKHANGELSK REGION AND REPUBLIC OF KHAKASSIA SHOW MOST ACTIVE POSITION TOWARD ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES

26 march 2019
On March 26, the press conference dedicated to Earth Hour 2019, the largest annual environmental event in the world, took place in the International Multimedia Press Center of Rossiya Segodnya International News Agency.

Organized by the World Wide Fund for Nature, this year, Earth Hour is planned on March 30, from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. local time. As a part of the event, the Fund is conducting a survey dedicated to the ecological situation in the Russian regions and ecological awareness of citizens.

The survey may end up the largest query in the history of the event: every year Earth Hour attracts at least 100,000 online participants. With the survey, WWF aims to find out which environmental problems the Russians are concerned about, and what they are doing to solve these problems.

“The survey conducted by WWF as a part of Earth Hour is unique as it will help identify the environmental activity rate in Russia,” says Yuriy Sochnev, Communication Director in WWF Russia. “The figure is determined as the ratio between the level of importance the residents of a certain region give to an ecological issue and their readiness to solve it. So far, the highest ratios have been demonstrated by the residents of Arkhangelsk Region and the Republic of Khakassia: they are not happy with the ecological situation in their regions and still ready to take active measures to improve it. Kostroma Region is the last on the list: the ecological situation is considered as inappropriate, but the residents have no will or no opportunity to involve themselves personally.”

The experts predict that the most active phase of the survey will take place at the end of the month. At the beginning of April, WWF will reveal the results of the survey. Meanwhile, ecologists bring intermediate results. So far, the survey received responses of 20,000 participants approximately.

The best ecological situation, according to the residents, is in the Altai Republic, Orel Region, and the Kabardino-Balkar Republic followed closely by the Republic of North Ossetia – Alania, Kamchatka Krai, and the Karachay-Cherkess Republic.

This is the reverse of the situation in Smolensk, Omsk, and Ivanovo Regions, which are estimated to have negative ecological conditions.

The greatest concern is related to the use of nonrecycled disposable plastic (on average, 32 points out of 100). On second position, there are two problems: the lack of separate garbage selection facilities and air pollution (each has 39 points). The situation with forests, according to the survey, is the least alarming (51 points). But ecologists are of a different opinion: they believe the Russians simply are not aware of the forest issues.

The WWF experts expect to get the largest feedback in all the history of the event. The more people take part in it, the more information the organizers obtain, which will help them better coordinate environmental activities of citizens, state, and NGOs.

In Earth Hour Day, Russian cities are hosting entertainment and educational events to raise environmental awareness. In Moscow, the event is organized together with the Moscow Government. The main venue will be in Zaryadye Park, with a performance of the popular Russian singer MakSim. The list of facilities that will join Earth Hour 2019 includes the buildings on Novy Arbat and Tverskaya streets, hotels and stations, Zaryadye Park, and VDNH pavilions.

Being a worldwide flash mob, Earth Hour is a very spectacular event that draws attention right away. It is not limited, however, to an hour-long blackout; first of all, it is a fantastic opportunity for the metropolis dwellers to think about how they can help the environment, what is their responsibility. It is very important that everyone elaborate environmentally healthy habits: to save energy and water, to help animals, not to litter. I wish to point out that in Moscow the environmental awareness is growing: more and more people take part in our master classes, excursions, and quests,” underlined Anton Kulbachevskiy, Head of the Department of Natural Resources Management and Environmental Protection in Moscow. “The city authorities and heads of various companies support Earth Hour actively, and every year there are more and more buildings that go dark this day. For the recent ten years, the number increased by almost 100 times, and in 2019 about 2,200 buildings will turn off their lights.”

More than 200 Russian cities are competing for the title of Earth Hour Capital. Speaking at a press conference, Anton Komolov, TV and radio host and Earth Hour ambassador, told that the competition for the title of Earth Hour Capital is being organized for the fourth time. Last year, Lipetsk was the winner.

“This time, we changed the mechanics of the competition: the participants will be asked not only to mark themselves on the map but also to fill in a small questionnaire,” said Komolov. “Judging from how the cities are squaring off for the title of the most active Earth Hour city, the Russians love our idea. After March 30, we will know what city will obtain the coveted cup, but now it’s time to act: my friends, I encourage you to register, to compete, to care for nature, and to improve the environmental activity rating of your cities!”

Earth Hour 2019 is very special for the World Wide Fund as in this year WWF Russia celebrates its 25th anniversary. As a part of the celebration, the Fund has initiated a bright collaboration with the famous artist Pokras Lampas. Traditionally, we use a symbolic switch to shut off the lights in Moscow for Earth Hour. Pokras turned it into a real objet d'art. The 200-kilogram sculpture made of metal, concrete, and cement is decorated with “calligrafuturistic” font pattern. 

"Our stele is a tag cloud," comments Pokras on his idea. "The words are connected to our event: 'culture,' 'future,' 'we create,' 'we bring into being,' 'nature,' 'energy,' 'harmony.' "

Event partners
 General event partners: Arkhbum Tissue Group, KASTAMONU. Event partners: Coca-Cola, Home Credit Bank, Cherkizovo Group PJSC, TISSAR LLC. Participants: Sveza Group, PJSC IC RUSS-INVEST, Center-invest Bank.

Media partners 
General media partner Rossiya Segodnya international news agency. Partners: Metro newspaper, Zhivaya Planeta TV channel, Delikateska.ru. 

Art partners 
Architect bureau DA Architects – project planning and management  
Kvant studio engineering and manufacturing of installations 
Cok.center team – decorative coatings
 LEDGO LED equipment supplier

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