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Earth Hour 2021: #openup

01 march 2021
Earth Hour activities will take place in Russia for the 13th time. This year they will be devoted to the topic of environmental information openness. As part of the campaign, WWF Russia will invite Russians to join calls to the Government of the Russian Federation and Russian business associations. The purpose of the requests is to provide access to information on the state of the environment. Also, as part of the action, Russians will learn how and where to get environmental information, what information they have the right to expect from the state and business, and how they as citizens can contribute to environmental transparency.

The annual Earth Hour ecology movement is organized by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). The movement is symbolic and is designed to draw attention to the need for a responsible attitude towards the nature and resources of the planet. The culmination of the campaign is Earth Hour itself, which this year will take place on March 27 at 8:30 pm local time. Traditionally, at this hour, millions of people around the world turn off their lights and household appliances, and tens of thousands of world famous buildings and landmarks turn off their lights.

The theme of Earth Hour 2021 is openness of environmental information. The slogan is #openup. 60% of citizens, to one degree or another, do not trust official data on the state of the environment, and 21% are sure that such data simply do not exist*. This is also due to the fact that important environmental information is often hidden or distorted. Access to reliable information about the state of the environment is the right of every citizen, as written in the Constitution of the Russian Federation**. Hiding such information can harm the environment and human health. Business, government and society should promptly inform each other about the environmental situation in order to reduce the impact on the environment, avoid disasters or eliminate their consequences in time.

Earth Hour 2021 for access to environmental information!

At the end of 2020, it became obvious that the closed nature of environmental data leads to catastrophic consequences. During the year, man-made accidents occurred almost throughout the country: the largest oil spill in Norilsk, an oil pipeline accident in the Amur floodplain, a leak on the Kolva River in the Nenets Autonomous Okrug, and many others, some of which were initially tried to be hidden. That is why this year we have chosen the theme of openness of environmental information  we urge everyone to pay attention to the fact that well-coordinated interaction and exchange of information between the government, businesses and all of us is very important, — said Dmitry Gorshkov, Director of WWF Russia. — As part of the Earth Hour 2021 campaign, we talk about how we can open up environmental information and thereby make our world safer. When addressing a citizen, we invite him to discover his right to access environmental information. Addressing the government and business, we invite them to open up and provide access to this information. Therefore, this year's Earth Hour campaign will be held under the slogan #openup.”

Official Earth Hour 2021 banner in Russia

On February 16, 2021, the law on environmental information was passed in the third reading — and this is a big step towards openness. But it forms only the basic state policy in the field of openness of environmental information. It is important to make further progress on this issue. Therefore, WWF Russia has prepared specific proposals:

  • It is necessary to expand the list of information on the state of the environment that government agencies are required to publish;
  • According to this list, promptly updated public information resources should be created;
  • It is necessary that not only the government, but also businesses publish information on the impact of enterprises on the environment.

Visitors to the 60.wwf.ru campaign website will be able to support WWF Russia's appeal to the Russian government and Russian associations of large and medium-sized businesses. If these proposals are implemented, we will get true information about the conditions of water, air, forests and wildlife, as well as measures taken to reduce the negative impact on them. This will help us understand how our rights are protected. These proposals are formulated in letters that WWF Russia will send during the Earth Hour 2021 campaign.

Openness of environmental information is, of course, something that everyone who has even the mildest impact on the environment should strive for. "Do not hush up the problems" and "be open" should become slogans and priorities for all levels of government, for industrialists, subsoil resource users. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation stands for openness, for communication with environmentalists, with people who are not indifferent to the state of our nature. Only together we will be able to preserve and protect the natural heritage of our country,” says Alexander Kozlov, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation.

The path to the openness of environmental information begins with each of us: often it is from citizens that the government learns about environmental incidents and offenses. But often people do not know where to get environmental information and how to properly respond to environmental problems and incidents, so WWF Russia invites to pass a special test on the Earth Hour 2021 website. The user answers 7 questions and tests themselves, and then receives infographics from WWF Russia with valuable instructions on this topic.

The culmination of the campaign will be "Earth Hour" on March 27 from 20:30 to 21:30 local time. At this hour, tens of thousands of world famous buildings and attractions, including those in Russian cities, will turn off their illumination around the world. In Moscow, the architectural lighting of the main sights will also be turned off for 1 hour. WWF to host a range of thematic online events — they will be additionally announced on wwf.ru. This year's campaign is supported by celebrity friends and partners of WWF Russia: Vyacheslav Fetisov, Elena Sharoykina, Alexey Kortnev, Dmitry Kozhoma, Anton Komolov, Irena Ponaroshku, Stanislav Kruglitsky, Anny Magic, Irina Chesnokova, Zoya Yarovitsyna, Yulia Kanakina, Leo Balanev.

Leonid Dubeikovsky / WWF Russia
Mariya Arbuzova / WWF Russia
Mikhail Bragin / WWF Russia
Mikhail Bragin / WWF Russia

Throughout the campaign on the 60.wwf.ru website one can make a contribution to the future of nature in Russia and support the Grant Competition for Nature Reserves and National Parks 2021. The collected funds will be used to implement the most promising environmental projects. On March 1, the collection of applications for the Competition was completed, and the winners will be announced on March 26th. Also on the website everyone will be able to traditionally mark their city on the interactive map of the Earth Hour and increase their chances of getting the title of "Capital of the Earth Hour".

Join Earth Hour at 60.wwf.ru!

Promotion partners

General partners: Arkhangelsk PPM, Procter & Gamble, MKB, Energosbytholding; Partners: Alianz, Tinkoff Bank, Coca-cola; Participants: IDF Eurasia.

Information Partners

Rossiyskaya Gazeta, VTimes edition, Moscow 24 TV Channel, Yandex, VKontakte, Odnoklassniki, Moscow Transport, Megogo, Timepad, Prior, Sailet, NFP Lab, Setters, SAFR, Masha and Medved, Maxima Telecom, ALT +, Better crowdsourcing platform.

Anna Tikhonova / WWF Russia
Vlad Ainet / WWF Russia
Vlad Ainet / WWF Russia

Additional Information

On March 27, 2021 at 20:30-21:30 local time, the annual environmental activity Earth Hour 2021, organized by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), will take place. The action is intended to draw attention to the need for a responsible attitude to nature and resources of the planet. Each year WWF Russia traditionally draws attention to one of the key environmental topics: previous actions were devoted to environmental activism, responsible consumption, ecological footprint, freezing new oil and gas projects on the Arctic shelf, protecting rare species of animals, banning industrial logging in valuable forests and other topics.

Earth Hour is an international symbolic event, during which WWF calls to turn off the lights and household electrical appliances for one hour as a sign of concern for the future of the planet. This is the largest global event in the history of mankind — 2 billion people around the world and more than 180 countries participate in it. Since 2009, the action has been held in Russia; since 2011, from 16 to 20 million people annually take part in it. In 2020, Earth Hour was held online for the first time and brought together millions of Russians, 11 time zones and hundreds of settlements.

* Research "Demand for information on ecology and environmental protection",  HSE University, 2019: https://www.hse.ru/news/310656474.html 
** Article 42 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation

Photo in the preview: Anna Tikhonova / WWF Russia
For additional information please contact
Director of Conservation Legal and Economic Issues at WWF-Russia