Choosing whether to preserve the blue whale or the Amazon is one of the complex choices proposed by the organization of the 10th edition of Earth Hour to the population of several Ibero-American countries to raise awareness about the effect of climate change on native species and ecosystems .
This initiative, promoted by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) within the activities of next Saturday, March 19, is presented this year under the slogan "Now is the time. Change for the climate" and seeks to mobilize consciences forcing people to choose the internet user between the possible conservation of a species or a habitat, both "impacted by climate change".
This was explained to Efe by the Ecuadorian Julio Mario Fernández, communications director of WWF Latin America and the Caribbean, for whom the recent Agreement of the Paris Climate Summit (COP21) was "a great achievement", but "now it is necessary to change the lifestyle and the pattern of development of civilization "and thus demonstrate that the commitment" is real. "
In this sense, Fernández believes that it is necessary to translate "the will to action of the countries, summarized in their 'anticipated contributions determined at the national level' - known as INDC-, into concrete actions" such as the conservation programs that appear on the websites nationals of this environmental organization, where citizens can express their preferences.
Each country offers a different alternative, although some of the species and ecosystems that appear are the same, since "animals like the jaguar are very powerful."
In addition to the jaguar and the blue whale, the rest of the participating species are the Argentine pampas deer, the Colombian river dolphin, the Ecuadorian whale shark and Andean tapir, the Mexican monarch butterfly and the Peruvian Andean bear.
These animals compete with each other and with ecosystems such as the Chilean native forest, Colombian fresh water, the Paraguayan Gran Chaco or the Amazon itself.
All these places and their main species are at risk due to climate change, whose "direct" implications make their survival "more fragile" by "stripping" them of the basic conditions for their existence.
Its deterioration also affects the most vulnerable human populations, because it accentuates their poverty, affects public health and precarious access to food.
More than 25,000 people have already voted for their favorites in this initiative, "although we hope to collect many more votes", which joins the various projects organized over the last ten years to commemorate Earth Hour: from the well-known blackouts of monuments and icons of cities to bike rides, actions in restaurants or virtual campaigns.
Fernández has defined this annual date as a "celebration of positive actions and initiatives" for the conservation and protection of natural resources, as well as "a wake-up call on the pressures we put on the Earth" and has congratulated himself because "each year is stronger "and has a greater media impact.
In fact, "it can be compared to the celebration of the new year" since, he assures, it has gained "a similar relevant space" in the calendar of Ibero-American parties and celebrations.
The number of cities involved is greater in each edition, to the point that it is not only celebrated in the capitals: Brazil celebrates it in 86 cities, Argentina in 13, Mexico in 10, Bolivia in 6, Chile in 5 and Ecuador in Four.
"In our case, we include two sites considered World Heritage by Unesco: Quito capital and the Galapagos Islands," says Fernández.
Earth Hour will culminate next Saturday, March 19, from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., local time in each country, in which the organization invites all citizens, companies and governments to familiarize themselves with the climate challenges by turning off the light.