Peru Gets Behind Earth Hour
It was Rainforest Cruises’ great pleasure to attend a Press Conference promoting Earth Hour – Hora del Planeta in Spanish - at the Ministry of the Environment, in Lima, on Tues, 13th March.
It was heartening to hear from Patricia Leon Melgar, the Director of WWF in Peru, about the massive global growth of the project, whereby households and businesses turn off their non-essential lights for one hour to raise awareness towards the need to take action on climate change. It started in Sydney in 2008, with 2.2 million people involved; and by last year, Earth Hour 2011 was the largest ever voluntary action for the environment, taking place in a record 5,251 cities and towns in 135 countries and territories in all seven continents, with an estimated reach of 1.8 billion people worldwide.
It was also reassuring to hear from Peru’s local government, as represented by Anna Zucchetti who works for the Mayor of Lima, and Dr. Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, the Minister of the Environment in the national government, that they are fully supporting the project.
While the hour’s darkness planned for 31st March is a symbolic gesture, acknowledging that each individual has a responsibility to do all they can to stop environmental degradation, the committed involvement of Peruvian government, along with two celebrities – the comedian Fernando Armas and the musician and TV presenter Edu Saettone – also symbolized an increasing environmental awareness in a country that has traditionally relied heavily on extractive industries to generate wealth.
Not surprisingly, Peru’s Amazon jungle was singled out by Dr. Pulgar-Vidal as an area in need of protection, with tourism being seen as the industry that would both feed and be fed from this. It is certainly Rainforest Cruises’ hope to be at the forefront of this, as we showcase the incredible Amazon region to our river cruise passengers, and bring economic benefit to the areas visited.